A New Hotel Added to the Aquarium Project

The Gulfport Redevelopment Commission is looking to add a new hotel to the site the new aquarium will be built on. The commissioners met today and made that decision. News 25’s Gina Tomlinson was there to hear the announcement.
Hundreds of visitors expected for the new aquarium the City of Gulfport is planning to be built right on the waterfront. Now, the visitors will have a place to stay right on the site. Approved at the Gulfport Redevelopment Commission meeting, a new hotel will take residence on the very same property.
Delicious seafood, right next to Jones Park, on a beautiful waterfront, all the elements of a great vacation and Gulfport city officials are working to make it even better. “Right now, we don’t have the number of family friendly activities that we need to qualify as a premium or premiere tourism destination. The aquarium gets us one step closer,” said Gulfport Chief Administrative Officer Dr. John Kelly.
A new hotel would make it easier for guests to visit the aquarium and enjoy the Gulf Coast. The GRC tells News 25 the hotel will take up about three acres on the west end of the aquarium site. “It would certainly have a pool. It would have meeting rooms,” said Sal Domino with the Gulfport Redevelopment Commission.
The GRC is seeking a hotel that has amenities that would attract business professionals but focus more on families wanting to enjoy the aquarium. “We’re looking for a family-oriented hotel, right next to the aquarium. People can come and stay there and walk right to the aquarium,” said Domino.
Gulfport city officials tell News 25 they have about $41 million to start developing the aquarium. In a few weeks, the GRC will be unveiling to the public what the aquarium will look like. The commission begins accepting proposals for the upcoming hotel this week. Now, closer than ever, the city continues to prove that after a storm comes a rainbow. “This is an exciting time for Gulfport,” said Kelly.

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