February 4, 2013 9:20:28 AM
BILOXI -- Mississippi Gulf Coast hotels chartered buses to bring guests to New Orleans for the Super Bowl and back. Mississippi's coastal casinos were hoping for good business.
A Jackson appliance chain had three delivery trucks on standby Sunday to deliver big-screen, high-definition TVs. Usually, it has just one delivery truck on Sunday, The Clarion-Ledger reported.
Sunday is typically a modest delivery day, but Con Maloney of the Cowboy Maloney's Electric City Superstores chain said he's gotten enough last-minute requests from customers on Super Bowl Sunday to be ready when the game comes.
"Years ago, someone called at halftime and said, 'Can I get a new TV? My TV is broken,'" Maloney said.
But coastal casinos, hotels and restaurants are expected to get most of the extra business.
"It's going to be a shot in the arm. We're a regional market when it comes to tourism," said Beth Carriere, executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau. She said the group hasn't estimated the likely dollar value.
Carriere said chartered bus demand was so high that Saturday round trips were added to the original game-day offer. People staying at least two nights get the trips free. The four to five buses making the trips each hold 55 people.
Linda Hornsby, executive director of the Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association, said droves of people expected to descend on New Orleans, and spill over to Mississippi in search of hotel rooms, could boost occupancy from the 40 percent average for February to 70 percent.
Most of those booking rooms in Mississippi seem to be Ravens fans, she said -- perhaps because the state is more easily accessible from Maryland than California.