Gulfport seeks hotel developer for new aquarium plans

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) – The city of Gulfport is moving ahead with plans for a destination aquarium on a downtown property it owns.

The Sun Herald reports that the city’s urban development agency, the Gulfport Redevelopment Commission, is requesting proposals from developers by June 3 for a hotel on the property. The hotel would have to have a minimum of 120 rooms, affiliation with a hotel brand, at least a three-star rating and amenities.

The agency also seeks proposals for marketing services by April 4. Gulfport Redevelopment Commission attorney Steve Hendrix says the agency wants to be in a position to start raising money for the aquarium as soon as a design is approved.

The city has already borrowed $14 million to assemble lots for the aquarium, while the state has committed $41.5 million on the project.