Hub City sees record numbers during spring break

Spring Break bringing record visitor numbers to the Hub City
Spring Break bringing record visitor numbers to the Hub City(WDAM Staff)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 10:23 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) -Many people may think of faraway destinations for Spring Break trips, but the Hub City is drawing in its fair share of visitors during the week.

Whether it’s walking down the Pocket Museum alley or looking at animals at the zoo, Rick Taylor from the Convention Commission said these attractions are seeing record numbers.

“What’s surprising to us and has been very surprising here in the alley, is how many people on spring break are coming from outside our area,” Taylor said. “So, what’s so positive about that is, of course, that’s new money being introduced into our economy and helping Hattiesburg to grow.”

According to Taylor, around 150,000 people visit the Pocket Museum and about half of those visitors are people from outside the Pine Belt.

Employees over at the Hattiesburg Zoo said its averaging 3,000 to 4,000 people per day during the break.

Zoo personnel said they spend all year getting ready for those kind of numbers.

“Spring break is that time of year that we prepare for every year,” said Jeremy Cumpton, director of Conservation, Education and Wildlife. “We know it’s coming. We are all excited about it, we have all been jittery and the energy in the air is intense.

“Everybody is smiling and having a good time and we are all working together and I think that’s what really sets the zoo apart from some institutions is we are all in this together,” .

As more people from outside the Pine Belt find themselves visiting Hattiesburg for places like zoo, the convention commission says plans to expand the parking could be in the future.

“How we can improve on our existing parking? Taylor asked. “What options do we have for the future?

“Obviously, we want to grow, we want the zoo to grow, we want it to continue to benefit Hattiesburg and grow that benefit. But we’ve got to be able to accommodate the people that come in.”

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