City reminds vendors, property owners to obtain permits

The number of city-approved vendors who plan to locate on private property along U.S. 90 this weekend for Spring Break is now approaching three dozen, prompting the city to remind promoters and property owners that permits must be secured for food and retail vendors.

Police continue to expect as many as 100,000 to 125,000 visitors to begin arriving in town Friday, with heavy traffic expected on U.S. 90 and other major thoroughfares through Sunday. The Mississippi Lodging Association says 90 percent of the Mississippi Coast’s 15,400 hotel rooms are reserved this weekend.

The city’s traffic plan, which limits U.S. 90 to two lanes for the nine-mile stretch between 1-110 in Biloxi and Cowan Road in Gulfport, will be implemented no later than noon on Friday, but Police Chief John Miller said the plan could go into effect earlier, depending on the volume of traffic Friday morning.

The city is also seeking to regulate those areas where front-beach property owners have opted to rent property to vendors or for paid parking. Most sites are several blocks east and west of the Coast Coliseum, which as of today had sold 500 tickets for spring break events Friday and 8,000 tickets for a Saturday night concert.

City ordinance requires a temporary permit for special events attracting more than 100 people and for outdoor seasonal sales, both of which apply to Spring Break vendors. The $25 permit can be obtained at the city’s Community Development Department on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in downtown Biloxi. No permits will be issued after 2 p.m. Friday. Vendors must show permission from property owners to locate on private property.

The city has reminded four promoters who have heavily advertised sites for a “Vendor Row,” “Pop-Up Shops” and “Park-N-Play” on Beach Boulevard. Two property owners – Marvin Barnes and Michael Shular – also have been notified. Meantime, police also says that RW Development is renting several beachfront lots, north and south of U.S. 90, for Spring Break-related vendors or parking.

“This notice was sent as a reminder to those promoters who have advertised most-heavily,” said City Attorney Peter Abide, “but the ordinances govern all vendors and those property owners who have chosen to rent their property to vendors.”

Vendors will be required to display their city permits at their booths.
See the notice sent to promoters and property owners
See the current list of vendors and property owners
See the city ordinance regarding special events
Video: What you need to know about Spring Break


News and notes: Shuckers, B-Alert

Shuckers reminder: The Biloxi Shuckers open their home season this evening, with a five-game homestand against in-state rival Mississippi Braves. Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich tosses out the ceremonial first pitch for the 6:35 tilt. To read more about the Shuckers plans for this evening and throughout the weekend, click here.

B-Alert: Have you signed up for B-Alert? To get Spring Break advisories and traffic updates directly from the city, text SPBK to 888777. It’s a free service, and you can opt out easily, by replying with STOP.