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Released September 22, 2003


LONG BEACH - The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast and other venues hosted 15 meeting planners on a "Three Day Tour" of the Mississippi Gulf Coast last month.

Southern Miss Gulf Coast hosted the final event by holding a trade show and luncheon at the Gulf Park Conference Center. This showcased the facility's ability to host meetings and provide excellent food and service at the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

"We're eager to expose as many meeting planners as possible to all we have to offer at the Gulf Park Conference Center," said Carolyn Neblett, manager of lodging and Conference Center marketing at the Southern Miss Gulf Park Conference Center. "We can provide everything: lodging, meeting space and food for groups as small as 10 or as many as 300. We want people to know that."

Members of the Magnolia Chapter of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) planned the three-day tour, which ran from Aug. 27-29. Playing on the theme of the Gilligan's Island television show from the 60s, the group scheduled three days along the coast, showcasing various meeting venues as well as the variety of attractions visitors can enjoy when they bring their groups to the area.

"We were able to show the planners a lot of the area they had never seen before," said Brenda Taylor, HSMAI member and committee chairperson for the event. "I believe the event was successful and that we will see future business from the planners who attended."

The meeting planners are members of the Mississippi Society of Association Executives (MSAE) and plan a number of meetings and conventions throughout the year. Among the attendees were Martele Higgins with the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, Bonnie McCormick with the Mississippi Hospitality Beverage Association, Jackie Lett with the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters, and Marilyn Musslewhite with the Mississippi Consumer Finance Association.

The itinerary for the Three Day Tour included events at the Holiday Inn Beachfront Hotel, the Redding House, the Isle of Capri, the Imperial Palace, the Beau Rivage, the President Casino, the Copa Casino, as well as tours of the local area hosted by the Biloxi Tour Train, Hotard Coaches, Bay St. Louis and ending with the Southern Miss Gulf Park Conference Center.

Located in Hardy Hall on the Long Beach campus of Southern Miss Gulf Coast, the Gulf Park Conference Center offers customized conferences and meeting for groups of all types. The recent addition of the Advanced Education Center Auditorium increases the meeting capacity to 500 people. Several additional meeting rooms offer comfortable accommodations for groups from ten to two hundred. State-of-the-art audio/visual equipment and onsite-catering facilities allow the Conference Center staff to coordinate successful events, meetings, conferences and retreats. Sixty overnight guest rooms with private baths, satellite televisions and telephones can accommodate up to 150 people. Guest rooms are also available for individual overnight stays. Guests can enjoy tennis courts and volleyball on campus, or visit any of the many local attractions surrounding the area.

For more information on the Southern Miss Gulf Park Conference Center call (228) 865-4536 or (228) 867-8777.



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October 1, 2003 3:40 PM