Harrison County

A lease has been approved for a hotel at the Coast Coliseum. Here are the details.

They’ve been working on it for decades and now the Coast Coliseum Commission is so close to getting an on-site hotel.

On Monday, the Harrison County Supervisors approved a 99-year lease between the Coliseum Commission and ALHG LLC.

Developer Al Bienvenu of New Orleans said he and Danny Moos from Dallas plan to build a 150-room hotel under the Marriott flag.

It will be built on 2.5 acres in front of the Coast Convention Center and “it is going to be connected,” said Lenny Sawyer, a member of the Coliseum Commission.

A climate-controlled walkway is envisioned between the convention center and hotel, which will be elevated with parking underneath. The hotel is expected to have a swimming pool, a rooftop bar/restaurant and a fitness center, Bienvenu said.

Matt McDonnell, executive director of the Coliseum and Convention Center, told the supervisors he isn’t quite ready to break open the champagne just yet. The company has made a cash deposit to lease the land and now has 90 days for due diligence.

“We’re looking at getting started on our due diligence today,” Bienvenu said after the meeting. Once the soil samples, title work and other preliminary work is done, he said they expect it to take 18-24 months for construction.

“This is really just a start,” he said. “We have renderings for an expansion already.”

The project will be built without a public contribution of funds, McDonnell said, and local companies are helping make the hotel happen:

  • Design by Dale Partners
  • Engineering by Brown, Mitchell & Alexander
  • Construction by Andercorp

“We’re using Mississippi businesses and Mississippi people to construct the hotel,” he said.

“It’s necessary,” said Linda Hornsby, who serves on the Coliseum Commission board and is executive director of Mississippi Lodging and Hospitality. “We want to being in new conventions we couldn’t attract because of not having an on-site hotel,” she said.

This hotel has nothing to do with the discussion of building another convention center in East Biloxi, close to the casino hotel rooms, McDonnell said.

“Right now we are the convention center,” he said.

Mary Perez is the business and casino reporter for the Sun Herald and also writes about Biloxi, jobs and the new restaurants and development coming to the Coast. She is a fourth-generation journalist.