Last week was blurry! In fact, so much has happened that it’s been hard to keep track…but again, it’s been that way since I took over as mayor in July 2020. Natchez is windy up! And we are truly blessed.
Easter has always been a time of rebirth and renewal, a time to reflect on our blessings and a time to look forward to all the good things God has in store for us. As the oldest and most beautiful town on the highest bluff of the most majestic river on the planet, we should never take Natchez for granted. And every day, I meet people from all over who are amazed at what we have here.
One of the many things that took place in Natchez this week was the Spring 2022 Summit meeting for the Mississippi Tourism Association. Nearly 200 tourism leaders from across the state traveled to Bluff City, record attendance for the MTA! For one person, these speakers all fell in love with Natchez. It was hard to say goodbye to them, and I have a feeling that we will see many of them again soon.
Attendees included a record number of legislators, 15 senators and state representatives, and with the help of Natchez Transit, I had the pleasure of taking them on a guided tour of Natchez. What a joy to share the Natchez renewal story, how we have record growth, record home sales, record job creation and record sales tax collection, while seeing our community come together in so many ways wonderful. We talked about unity, community and opportunity. And we discussed how we now celebrate our history while working to tell “the whole story” so that all aspects of the Natchez story are included.
One of the most common things was that “Natchez people are so happy, so friendly – and so hospitable”. All I could say was “this is Natchez for you”. We are truly fortunate to have people who offer their best hospitality – from every restaurant to every gift shop, from every hotel to every B&B, and every other business in between. Along with our tour operators, horse-drawn carriage rides, Hop On tour buses and special event locations, these tourism partners all offer a generous helping of Mississippi hospitality in a way no one else can – and the Natchez flavor really is the best!
One of the greatest things about being mayor of Natchez is being able to represent a city that thrives on positivity. While other parts of the country seem to be steeped in controversy and division, we truly enjoy a good life here. Perhaps that is why so many people now want to move in. And with everything that is happening and about to happen, we can only expect it to get even better!
Count your blessings Natchez. And get ready for more to come. Because Natchez deserves more!
Dan Gibson is mayor of Natchez.