- Associated Press - Monday, June 2, 2014

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) - In Bay St. Louis, a new marina is almost ready to open. A marina expansion is underway in Pass Christian.

Questions are being raised about whether the Mississippi Gulf Coast is reaching a saturation point with many existing marinas struggling to lease docking space.

WLOX-TV in Biloxi reports (https://bit.ly/1jY0J0I ) that so far about 60 people have applied for docking space in the Bay of St. Louis’ 162-slip marina. The marina expansion in Pass Christian will have space for 102 commercial boats and 61 pleasure boats.

The harbor in Gulfport has 319 slips, but less than 50 percent have been leased.

The Pass Christian Marina expansion project is expected to be completed this summer.



Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame said a grand opening celebration is planned for its marina in late July. He said the city’s marina will be different from others along the coast.

“Most of the other harbors on the coast are basically just that, they are harbors to harbor boats long term. Ours is going to be a little unique. We’re actually going to be attracting a lot of boating traffic into Bay St. Louis just for the short term stays.

“It’s going to almost be a parking destination for the boating community far and wide to come visit Bay St. Louis, not just for hourly visits, it could be days or a couple of weeks,” Fillingame said.

The two-year construction project is just about finished. The utility hook-ups for boaters have been installed, the docking slips are ready, and the decorative lighting is being tested.

“It looks fantastic and now that they’re doing the test lighting at night, if you haven’t seen it, it’s gorgeous,” said Pam Collins, who owns one of the shops in Old Town Bay St. Louis.

Collins is hoping to see a boost in business from the boaters expected to frequent the marina.

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Information from: WLOX-TV, https://www.wlox.com

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