A developer just bought the old water park at the busiest intersection in Waveland. Here's the plan.

Guests at Coast Inn and the public share the lazy river and water slides at the new Barnacle Bill's Waterpark at Coast Inin, Waveland.
Guests at Coast Inn and the public share the lazy river and water slides at the new Barnacle Bill's Waterpark at Coast Inin, Waveland. file

They've purchased 25 properties in the last five years in Hancock County and now New Orleans developers Jim and Catherine MacPhaille have an agreement to buy a hotel and water park in Waveland.

The real estate closing on the former Coast Inn and Barnacle Bill's Waterpark is in 30 days, said Jim MacPhaille.

Their plans are to "tear out the water park, save the hotel," he said.

They've spoken to Wyndham Resorts, he said, and are considering a Ramada Inn flag.

“We've been looking at this hotel for a long time,” MacPhaille said. It was under contract to sell, he said, but he got a call when the sale fell through.

The hotel has 75 to 80 rooms with outside entrances and he said the best way to get it back in business is to keep the second floor balcony as part of the renovation.

The Lady family owned the two-story hotel at the corner of U.S. 90 and Mississippi 603. The water park with a lazy river ride was built in 2011, the year after the BP oil spill, on the south side of the building. The property has been closed since about 2015.

MacPhaille said a swimming pool will be built behind the hotel and the new entrance will face Mississippi 603.

Waveland Mayor Mike Smith said the hotel sits on one of the "most important" intersections south of Interstate 10 in Hancock County. Nearby are a Lowe's and a Walmart, and Smith said he expects the new hotel to attract other development in the area

“This is very important to our tourism industry and our businesses that rely on the tourism industry,” said Tish Williams, executive director of the Hancock County Chamber. It will boost jobs and give visitors a reason to extend their stay, she said.

In February, the MacPhailles announced they purchased the A&G Theater, which stood vacant for more than 40 years in Old Town Bay St. Louis, and plan a $2.5-$3 million restoration. He said they are finishing up plans for the interior renovation and hope to be open by next summer.

The couple also purchased the Second Street Elementary School in Bay St. Louis and he said that will be converted to a hotel. Among their other properties in the Bay are Century Hall, PJs Coffee and the Creamery and 200 North Beach Restaurant and Bar.

In addition to this development, South Mississippi saw $20.5 million in new commercial building permits issued in April, according to the Treen Report. Among the top projects are:

$14.7 million for a performing arts center at 1716 Tucker Ave Pascagoula

$1.8 million for renovation at Gulf Coast Student Housing, 522 Railroad St. East, Long Beach

$1.2 million for a new Ship Island Ferry pier, terminal and pavilion in Gulfport

$750,000 for a new doctor's office, 1752 Medical Park Drive, Biloxi

$401,000.00 to replace bridge, sidewalk, curb and drain boxes on Old Mobile Highway, Pascagoula

$260,000 for renovation at Sonic, 12046 U.S. 49, Gulfport

$120,000 for renovation at McDonald's, 9500 US 49, Gulfport