If you didn't remember what the motel looked like, you certainly remembered the hotel mailbox mascot, a pink flamingo. Sometimes as a prank, the Flamingo Beach Inn's wooden bird would take a hike, but usually, it found its way home again.
Hurricane Katrina changed all that. There is no mailbox, no wooden flamingo bracing it and no motel.
Sylvie Chasena became owner of the 56-room motel at 1746 Beach Blvd. on the Biloxi Strip about seven years ago. The strip between DeBuys Road and Rodenberg Avenue was developed in the mid-20th century as a tourist area for family entertainment, nightclubs and lodging.
Flamingo Beach advertised "swimming pool, golf packages, continental breakfast, suites available, kitchenettes, microwaves and refrigerators."
In the early 1990s, under a previous owners, the motel was a housing site for Miss Teen USA contestants, when the pageant was held on the Mississippi Coast. In more recent times, its location across from the beach attracted a mixture of golfers and gamblers, as well as families.
"I don't know yet if I'm going to rebuild because right now we don't have the money," Chasena said. "We are really sad for everybody in the city.
"I dream that I build my hotel back."
- KAT BERGERON