Biloxi, our “Vegas of the South”, a friendly, charming little coastal city that has suffered more than it’s share of hurricane disasters.
After being virtually demolished by Hurricane Camille in 1969, the people of this tough little gaming town pulled together and brought it back stronger than ever. It took some time, but they worked hard to attract tourist and in time, it’s fame grew. People discovered friendly hospitality, fantastic sea food, great shopping, good fishing, and, of course, exciting casino action. As the town grew outlet shopping malls sprang up and upscale restaurants could be found along the shore, serving succulent seafood fresh from local fishing boats. Reasonable hotel rates made Biloxi a bargain for tourists and an historic past provided attractions for those interested in more than shopping and gambling.
Then along came Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I visited Biloxi shortly after the hurricane devastation and it was hard for me to believe it was real. Everything along the shore was gone, homes, stores, gas stations, hotels, casinos…they were just not there. In their place FEMA trailers served to accentuate the loss of millions of dollars in property loss, not to mention the many lives and personal effects. It was hard to recognize the familiar places I had visited and I wondered if Biloxi would ever be the same again.
Little did I know of the Biloxi spirit. The town went right to work and by spring the beach was cleaned up and restored and the huge oaks that had managed to weather the storm, once bare, sprouted new leaves as if to say, “Take a look at us, we’re still here”. Hotels sprang up here and there on lots swept clean by the storm. Restored Casinos reopened and new ones came to town. Within two years Biloxi was back.
I was so happy when my favorite Hotel and Casino, the Beau Rivage, reopened. Located on the beach, it had been hit hard but is now completely restored and greater than ever (if that’s even possible). The theatre has reopened with headliner stars and a brand new show extravaganza, the “Y”, a cirque sensation like no other.
A few days at the Beau Rivage is my personal, perfect get-a-way. It’s a five star property, located only an hour and a half from New Orleans. The rooms are luxurious, the food is fabulous, the entertainment is superb, the shopping is great and the natives are friendly. What more could I ask for?
If you would like to visit Biloxi, check out Kay’s groups for the next departure.