Gautier cant even support a Taco Bell! Name one town the dosnt have a Taco Bell. Even Chick-Fil-A pulled out. As long as I can remember the citizens of Gautier havnt shopped in Gautier, I know cause I managed a store there. Gautier needs to be more business friendly and encourage residents to shop in Gautier!
YYYEEEPPP. And I use to eat @ the old Gautier Taco Bell from time to time.(in the current Subway building) Sad isn't it?
For what its worth I don't really think the city being "more business friendly" will do much of anything. The city itself if oddly shaped. Its actually 3 different cities. Its Martin Bluff/Hickory Hills, then its "old Gautier" around highway 90 & south of the highway & then it the area that's around 57 that used to be considered Vancleave.
The people who live in west Gautier will go shop in Ocean Springs or D'Iberville because they're close to I-10. The people in Hickory Hills just hit the interstate.(I used to work @ a store off Vancleave Rd & customers would frequently tell me they didn't like driving down to Jerry Lees, & more importantly, didn't like their prices)
I imagine there will be a "new car" type effect where everybody from Jackson County & east Harrison County comes over to see the mall for novelty effect & shop around but after the first year it'll taper off. What the city doesn't get is that the main appeal of D'Iberville & Gulfport is that they're off I-10. Many people who travel thru stop off there to eat or shop on their way while traveling thru. People don't want to get off the interstate & travel 5 miles south to the highway & then get harassed by the Gautier PD, which already runs way too many traffic stops off I-10.
For that reason only locals will shop there. Gautier should develop the area around their interstate exchanges, rather than worry about a dying mall. They'd probably get more tax revenues if they developed the 57 interchange area.
The problem also is just location & that its not "cool" to go to the mall any more for younger people.
And if I live in Ocean Springs or up around Hurley(where all the people who have money who work in Pascagoula are) I'd just go to Mobile. I mean hell Mobile's about as far from Hurley as is Gautier. And people in west Jackson County can always just go to Harrison County.
The city's grasping for straws. I can't blame them, I'd probably do the same thing if I was them, but I just don't think it'll work.