Coastal Mississippi’s recent rebrand as “Coastal Mississippi: The Secret Coast” gives travelers a fresh perspective on Gulfside business and leisure. More than $660 million was allocated toward new hotel properties and developments, as well as attractions and restaurants throughout the region. The reinvigoration gives a new focus on Coastal Mississippi as a premier travel, meetings and events destination.
In August 2019, Gulfport unveiled an impressive destination resort on the site of a former Veterans Affair Hospital. After Hurricane Camille, in 1969, and Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, blew through coastal Mississippi, the damaged VA Medical Center campus underwent repairs before eventually transferring the property to the city of Gulfport. In 2014, the campus became part of the National Register of Historic Places and later underwent an ambitious $100 million real estate development to create the Centennial Plaza resort.
Centennial Plaza is a new 48-acre resort complex. Offering a combined 215 hotel rooms, the upscale resort has 152 rooms at the on-site Oasis Resort along the Gulf Coast. Another 63 luxury hotel rooms are available at the property’s Grand Centennial building. The resort includes two full-service restaurants, 10 restored historical buildings, a 25,000-gallon dancing fountain and a 3-acre pool complex complete with a lazy river and slides.
The resort retained the property’s historic Spanish Colonial Revival architecture throughout and restored an on-site historic chapel, which is available for weddings and other events. Centennial Plaza’s position across from the white sandy beaches of the Gulf also provides pristine views from various rooms and meeting spaces.
Designed for business travelers, the Grand Centennial Hotel Boardroom has 300 square feet of workspace on the first floor. An additional Oasis Resort Boardroom has 432 square feet of meeting space on the first floor. The resort’s Blue Marlin Restaurant has second-floor event space with a white marble bar overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, porch seating and waterside views. For smaller meetings and event spaces, on-site dining breakout rooms are also available with views overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
The resort’s 15-acres of green space and canopy of mature live oak trees provide a backdrop for festivals, concerts, galas and events like Chillin' on the Gulf Coast. Dubbed the "Crown Jewel of the Mississippi Gulf Coast," the resort is positioned to provide everything a traveler needs while delivering convenience to nearby attractions.
Beyond the new mix-use Centennial Plaza resort for business and leisure, Coastal Mississippi will also welcome the anticipated Mississippi Aquarium in late 2019/early 2020; it’s situated on 5.8 acres of beachfront property.
The Gulfport area and Centennial Plaza are a great location for the meetings and events industry; it’s only an hour drive from both New Orleans and Mobile. Gulfport is already home to 24-hour luxury casinos and the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport that attracts nearly 800,000 visitors and business travelers a year.