Spring Break ’17: Sold out, almost!

It’s something that you don’t see that often, and it’s great news, says Linda Hornsby, longtime Biloxi and Gulf Coast tourism authority:

Biloxi and the Gulf Coast are close to hanging out a “No vacancy” sign for this weekend, with only a handful of the 15,341 rooms from stateline to stateline available, primarily for the weekend’s influx of spring breakers.  

And already roadways are showing the first signs of the expected heavy volume of traffic: Police have reduced the U.S. 90 service drive between Veterans and Rodenburg avenues to one-lane of eastbound traffic to head off congestion expected this evening and all day Saturday.

“This hotel news is great,” said Hornsby, longtime executive director of the Biloxi-based Mississippi Hotel & Lodging Association. “We’re in the business of selling rooms, and anytime we’re selling rooms it’s great.”

Have no fear, if you’re a late comer. “There are still some rooms to be found, few and far between to be sure,” Hornsby said, “but if anyone is interested all they need to do is call us at 1-888-388-1006.”


How they’ll keep the traffic moving

Biloxi Police and Public Works crews, meantime, are making final tweaks to plans to keep traffic moving —  vehicles and pedestrians – through the weekend.

Barricades have been positioned in the center medians at key intersections on U.S. 90, primarily on west beach, with plans to prohibit left turns during peak times, especially in the ground zero area of Spring Break, which is normally a couple miles east and west of the Coast Coliseum.

Barricades also run alongside both sides of U.S. 90 in areas of west beach to keep safe distances between pedestrians and vehicles, and to control crosswalks to the beach.

“We’ve already had a few complaints from businesses on the service drive between Rodenburg and Veterans because we’ve been forced to make it one-lane, one-way traffic,” Police Chief John Miller said. “We apologize for the inconvenience, but there’s no other way to handle the volume of traffic we’re expecting in that area since two of the restaurants have chosen to remain open until 2:30 in the morning.

“Those motorists are limited to eastbound traffic because the intersection at Veterans and 90 is historically congested each year. We can’t pile any more traffic on it this year and still keep traffic moving.”

The section of the service drive from Veterans to Camellia, where no restaurants or nightclubs are located, remains open to two-way traffic.


Command post stood up and ready

Meantime today, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department has established a command post in the beachfront parking lot of Edgewater Mall, as it has done for previous Spring Breaks and such events as Cruisin’ the Coast and Scrapin’ the Coast.

Said Miller: “The Biloxi and Gulfport police, the sheriff’s department and some of our other neighboring agencies all will be working together this weekend to make sure everyone has a safe time. We want everyone to have a fun time, but please remember to be safe and, above all, be patient with the traffic.”
See a Q&A on spring break