Inn at Long Beach, asserting independence, is being transformed
By Andy Kanengiser
Motorists driving along U.S. 90 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast may pause for a moment and notice The Inn at Long Beach.
General manager Elizabeth Staples hopes that people make it a habit to check out the attractive Inn and spend the night at the 76- room hotel. The property is conveniently located directly across the street from the beach in Harrison County.
What used to be the Holiday Inn Express for years was transformed into The Inn at Long Beach as of February 5, 2021.
A Long Beach resident and 2007 Bay High graduate, Staples certainly knows the hotel property at 300 Beach Boulevard quite well.
The Waveland native began working as the Holiday Inn Express front desk clerk in August 2015. By July 2018, Staples got promoted to serve as the hotel’s general manager. The hotel features a daily hot breakfast, fitness center and outdoor pool.
While being part of the internationally known Holiday Inn brand was a great experience, “we are building towards becoming a better property, and independence allows us to do so,’’ Staples said. “We are currently renovating the hotel. We have updated about eighty percent of the rooms, with more improvements to come.’’
On the drawing board are plans to renovate the hotel’s exterior towards the end of 2021. And renovations to the lobby and breakfast area should happen in 2022.
The Inn at Long Beach is sticking with the majority of its team members as renovations proceed. In the transition, there’s been a tremendous amount of work involved, and Staples is happy to see so many familiar faces aboard to make it happen.
“We hope to gain some new team members in the future, as well.”
So far, so good, as the renovations stay on track and make the property a cozy home away from home for guests.
“Many guests that visit with us find us to be a hidden gem away from all the hustle and bustle,’’ Staples says. “It really is going to be a beautiful place upon competition, but it will take time.’’
Staples, who earned her bachelor’s degree online in 2017 at Virginia College, seems like she’s found her life’s calling in the region’s hotel and hospitality business.
“The best thing about the hotel industry is being able to meet people from all around the world,’’ Staples said. It’s all about building relationships with hotel guests year-round. “It definitely has its moments, but being able to meet the needs of my guests or put a smile on their face after traveling for hours is rewarding to me.’’
The Inn at Long Beach is centrally located close to Mississippi Gulf Coast beaches, shopping, dining and entertainment, including the area’s casinos.
When she’s not working at the hotel, Staples is a busy single mom with a little girl that she says is her pride and joy.