BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – South Mississippi tourism has seen some dog days this summer thanks to the coastal crisis and tight budgets. No one knows that better than Cajun RV Park General Manager Jonathan Mikovich.
“The summer’s been really slow. I would say we are off probably about 35 to 40% off of our normal pace for the entire summer,” said Mikovich.
WLOX first met Mikovich during the Fourth of July Holiday. At that point the oil spill was at its peak, and the RV park was only seeing a fraction of its usual holiday customers.
However, Mikovich had hopes business would pick up as summer went on. That was two months ago, and things haven’t changed much.
“We started experiencing a lot of cancellations for our whole entire summer, and business has just tapered off every month up until now,” said Mikovich.
However, the park did fill up during the Labor Day holiday. The manager said that’s thanks to his regular customers who brought in friends and family.
According to Mikovich, there is only one thing to blame for the drop in visitors.
“It’s been slow, no doubt about it because of the oil spill. That had a lot to do with it,” explained Mikovich. “I get a lot of questions. Is the oil still on the beach? Are there tar balls still washing up? Can we smell anything on the beach?”
From the standpoint of the Cajun RV Park, the future looks dim for tourism.
“The damage that’s been done because of the oil spill, just from hearing my customers. It’s going to take a while for that to recover,” said Mikovich.