Trio of popular city facilities marks fifth anniversary

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the dedication of three of the city’s high profile post-Katrina projects – the Biloxi Visitors Center, the Biloxi Civic Center and the Biloxi Public Library.

Together, the three represent an investment of about $35 million in federal funds in the city’s rebuilding effort and have become shining examples of Biloxi’s recovery.

The Visitors Center, directly north of the Biloxi Lighthouse and near the months-old Lighthouse Park, has become the focal point of tourism on the Gulf Coast.

“Looking back over the last five years, the positive response to the Visitors Center has been overwhelming,” said center manager Bill Raymond. “In our first full year of operation we welcomed 61,000 guests and hosted 156 events.

“This year the Visitors Center annual guest count has risen to over 150,000 with 270 events.  We are also extremely proud that the Biloxi Visitors Center remains the top rated Gulf Coast attraction on TripAdvisor.”

The Civic Center, meantime, has become home to six Mardi Gras balls, three proms (Biloxi, St. Martin and Ocean Springs), countless charity events, bridal shows and other special public and private events.

“The Biloxi Civic Center allows the client to truly personalize their event, from working with their own caterer to the dĂ©cor, from floor to ceiling,” said Amanda Boudreaux Williams, special events coordinator for the city.

“Event planners can transform the space to represent their vision for their own truly unique event.

“We’ve had events that are ‘outside the box/ballroom,’ using the courtyard for receptions.”

Added Williams, who books the Visitors Center and Civic Center: “Of course, the biggest attraction is that those who use the Visitors Center or Civic Center can bring in their own caterer, beverages and enjoy free parking, amenities that are not available at other venues,.”

The Biloxi Public Library, which is separated from the Civic Center by an outdoor courtyard, offers thousands of books, online access, a children’s area with pint-size furniture, and a popular Local History and Genealogy section.
See photos from the fifth anniversary celebration
See photos from dedication July 14, 2011
Biloxi Visitors Center rental info, photos
Biloxi Civic Center rental info, photos


Biloxi makes Mississippi Magazine’s ‘Best of’ List

Less than a month after USA Today told a national audience about the growing allure of Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, now comes Mississippi Magazine touting Biloxi as one of the top places to enjoy a weekend trip.

Biloxi was bestowed an M-List award certificate this week for “Best Weekend Trip” as voted by the publication’s readers.

“This is a state-wide magazine and this notable mention encourages people around the state to come see what we have to offer,” said Bill Raymond, historical administration and manager of the Biloxi Visitors Center.

The M-List designation follows up on a June 17 USA Today weekend story titled “Mississippi’s moment: Gulf Coast resurges with new attractions, resorts.” Wrote correspondent Larry Olmstead in the glowing assessment: “Nearly 11 years after Katrina, New Orleans has rebounded impressively, and many affected parts of Alabama and Florida have been rebuilt. But no area has seen a resurgence quite like Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, which spans three counties and 62 miles of shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico.”

Mississippi Magazine Editor Melanie M. Ward said of the Biloxi achievement, “Our readers have spoken and you are one of the treasures comprising the Best of Mississippi.”
See the M-List certificate
See the M-List honorees
See the USA Today Weekend story