Comfort Suites coming to Biloxi beach

October 1, 2014
By Mary Pere at Sun Herald

BILOXI -- A 110-room Comfort Suites will be built on the Biloxi beach west of Veterans Avenue. Barrington Development, the company that recently restored and reopened the White House Hotel in Biloxi, will develop this hotel.

The only other accommodation built since Hurricane Katrina on the south side of U.S. 90 from the Biloxi Bay Bridge to the Bay St. Louis Bridge is South Beach condo hotel in Biloxi. Island View Casino is restoring the hotel tower on the south side of the highway in Gulfport.

Plans for the new hotel project were presented to Biloxi's Development Review Committee on Wednesday after the franchise agreement with Choice Hotels was signed Tuesday night.

This Comfort Suites will be like others in the brand, with double and king-size suites and a breakfast room. The difference is it will cater primarily to tourists, with the 3-acre site directly on the beach and the swimming pool overlooking the water.

The site is east of Sea Breeze condominium and is already zoned as community business, said Jerry Creel, community development director.

Variances are needed for about seven parking spaces and for density. Under Biloxi's regulations, only 30 hotel units are allowed per acre in that area, while Barrington officials said more rooms are needed to justify the investment in the beachfront land.

Cono Caranna, vice president of Barrington Development, said this new hotel will be four stories. He said the Comfort Suites brand just became available.

South Mississippi is still 3,000 hotel rooms short of the pre-Katrina inventory.

Caranna said business is good at the White House Hotel. "We're getting more bookings and selling out for weekends," he said. The hotel already is booked for Cruisin' The Coast.

Creel said several more hotels are proposed in Biloxi, including a LaQuinta just west of I-110, a hotel at the former Gulf Coast Regional Hospital on DeBuys Road and a Hyatt Place near the Hampton Inn. The city also is in discussion with developers who want to build a Marriott, Best Western, Hilton Garden Inn, Mainstay and other as-yet unnamed hotels.

Creel presided over Wednesday's DRC meeting while Eric Nolan, the chairman of DRC and the city's arborist, was in Jackson to get Biloxi's 30th annual Tree City award from Tree City USA.

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