BY JUSTIN MITCHELL
PASS CHRISTIAN -- It's been almost a century since visitors could enjoy a luxurious one-night stay in Pass Christian, but that will change soon. Three hotels -- two owned by local businessmen -- are the key tourism item missing in the city, Mayor Chipper McDermott said.
"We have not had a hotel in the town in 90 years," he said. "To me, that's the missing piece. One of the things we needed is a hotel where people would stay."
McDermott said less-upscale motels popped up in the Pass over the last few decades, but none at the caliber that would draw in tourists likely to spend money in shops and restaurants.
The Whiskey Hotel on Davis Avenue is under construction, and McDermott said the front of the 12-room venue will house a trendy oyster bar.
He said the Whiskey Hotel is owned by Thomas Genin, who also owns The Blind Tiger in Bay St. Louis.
On April 7, millennial restaurant owner Jourdan Nicaud will break ground on a lavish 10-room hotel on Scenic Drive near Market Street, just across the street from Bacchus on the Beach. The rooms will range from 600 to 1,200 square feet, Nicaud said.
The first floor of the posh space, to be named Hotel Pass Christian, will feature a gym and luxury spa. Nicaud said guests will be able to order room service from Bacchus. The hotel will provide jobs for more locals, Nicaud said, as well as expand tourism in west Harrison County.
"Pass Christian needs it," he said. "It's going to be an attraction and help rebuild the area."
Right now, there are not really any one-night lodging accommodations in the Pass, and Nicaud is excited for that to change.
"You have a lot of those towards to Biloxi area, but really in Long Beach and Pass Christian, there are very few areas for a one-night (stay)," he said. Those people who stay for a night could potentially dine out, buy artwork, grab a coffee or tour a Coast harbor.
The rooms in Nicaud's three-story space will have marble counters, hardwood floors and rainforest showers. Each will have a balcony overlooking either the Mississippi Sound or the green space on the back of the property.
Hotel Pass Christian was designed by architect Kevin Fitzpatrick. Nicaud hopes to start renting rooms by the end of August.
McDermott said a third hotel, an 80-room Hampton Inn, is expected to soon break ground on the southwest corner of Scenic Drive and Market Street, a 2-acre plot.
"That will happen," he said.