While the popular Bay Town Inn hasn't changed much in the past five years, Old Town itself has grown, giving the Inn's loyal fan-base more to enjoy during their stays.
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
Moon has put her background in tourism to good use at her inn and in the community, where she works to bring visitors to the Bay. “My job is to get them here and out so they can spend money at the shops and restaurants. Then they can go home, tell everybody how fabulous it was and maybe they buy a second home or move here permanently.”
It’s easy to see why Bay Town Inn keeps guests returning. With its welcoming, coastal setting overlooking the beach in Old Town, the inn manages to appeal to both business and leisure travelers. Mississippi First Lady Deborah Bryant is among the returning guests.
The inn’s guest suites have a living and kitchen area, full bath and bedroom with a king bed, many with views of the courtyard and pool. The poolside accessible room has two double beds, an over-sized bathroom and kitchen area.
The second floor Lighthouse Room on the second floor is over 700 square feet with a queen bed, sofa-sleeper, full bath, kitchen area and a private deck.
Weekend guests have a full breakfast delivered to their suite. During the week a lighter meal is waiting for guests in their room. Fresh flowers, waffle weave robes and free wi-fi are among the amenities.
Guests on social media travel sites can’t say enough about Bay Town Inn, which consistently received the highest reviews. The comments tend to be superlative: A gem, first class, excellent location, fabulous food. “We hated to leave but made plans to meet again next Summer at The Bay Town Inn- but for a longer stay!”
Serving as such an accommodating host and promoting the area is more than a full time job, but Moon doesn’t consider it work. “It is fun. I love what I do.”
Moon has established strong relationships with agencies and companies at Stennis Space Center agencies as well as industries at Port Bienville and Stennis Airport.
“We get a lot of business from that and those guests love it here. They’ve been working all day and can park their cars here, change clothes and then walk down the block for something to drink and a bite to eat without having to get in the car again.”
Weekend guests are primarily couples from New Orleans, the North Shore, Baton Rouge and Hattiesburg. The Millennial travelers also come to the inn because they like the roomy accommodations and all of the town’s entertainment options. “They love the Bay,” Moon says.
Bay Town Inn also is a favorite of wedding parties and sometimes book the whole inn. Occasionally companies will have work retreats there and mix in fishing trips and other outings for their employees.
“We also have lots of mother daughter weekends, sisters weekends, people who like to go fishing and play rounds at our great golf courses. It’s a nice variety.”
Moon shares her hospitality experience by serving on the boards of the Hancock Chamber and the tri-county Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention Bureau to help promote Bay St. Louis as part of the entire Gulf Coast region.
“It’s a way to give back to my community,” she says. "Everybody has to step up and do their part. When you live in a small town, it takes every one of us.”