Mississippi Gulf Coast also sees big business from BCS

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 5, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 5 at 7:42 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS -- The BCS title game is not only a major boost to the New Orleans tourism economy. The spill-over business also has the Mississippi Gulf Coast preparing for a busy weekend.

The coast ran advertisements across Alabama, reaching out to 'Bama fans heading to the Crescent City for the big match-up with LSU.

"One single event can have such a positive impact on a region," said Beth Carriere with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Gulf Coast is offering special BCS packages, including discounted hotel rooms and round-trip bus transportation to the French Quarter and Superdome.

"We got together as soon as the last touchdown was made with the qualifying games and decided to act then to have an offer to the visitors," said Carriere.

Linda Hornsby from the Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association said they expect to bring two-dozen charter buses full of people to New Orleans.

"Sunday and Monday night, ordinarily this time of the year would be very dismal," said Hornsby. "We're expecting thousands of room nights to be generated."

The Beau Rivage, the largest hotel on the coast, expects to be nearly full this weekend with most of its bookings BCS related.

"We love New Orleans and we have a great partnership with New Orleans," said hotel spokeswoman Mary Spain. "The fact that it's Alabama playing LSU in the southeast region, we're a nice central location."

While the Mississippi Gulf Coast is targeting mostly visitors from Alabama for the BCS, folks in the hospitality industry there are quick to tell you for this big game, it's not wise to choose between the Tigers and the Tide.

"One is to the east of us," said Carriere. "One is to the west. We're in the middle and I don't think that's a good place to be to pick a fight."

Gulf Coast leaders tell us there is still plenty of rooms available there for football fans who can't find lodging in the immediate New Orleans area.

 

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