Although it is the second largest city in Mississippi (with a population of around 70,000), Gulfport strives to maintain the feeling of a beachfront community. It takes its name from its location bordering the Gulf of Mexico. Gulfport was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but has worked hard to recover-and in 2008, Forbes ranked the Gulfport area as one of the Best Small Places for Business and Careers. With nearby Biloxi, Gulfport anchors a metro area with more than 200,000 residents, and attracts many tourists to its 26 miles of white-sand beach.
Gulfport is home to the third most active container-shipping port on the Gulf and-with 11 casinos open in the Gulfport/Biloxi area, plus more on the way-it is one of the top gaming destinations in the country. The city is working aggressively to develop new business through economic incentives and tax credits and both Forbes's and Moody's have projected continued economic growth and relatively low unemployment for the area.
Top Gulfport employers are:
There are many additional attractions further afield in the Gulfport/Biloxi area, including:
Gulfport is home to the Jefferson Davis Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC), which offers more than 60 different study programs and has agreements with several four-year schools in the area, allowing students to work towards a bachelor's degree at the Jefferson Davis Campus before transferring elsewhere.
There are seven AM and FM radio stations broadcasting from Gulfport:
The two television stations in the area are WLOX-TV Channel 13, an ABC affiliate, and WXXV-TV Channel 25, a Fox affiliate.
The local daily news publication is The Sun Herald, which is headquartered in nearby Biloxi and has a circulation of more than 47,000. In 2006, The Sun Herald won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the impact it had on the Gulf Coast area.
The city is home to the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, which provides airline service to roughly 900,000 passengers each year. Originally built in 1942, the airport was one of the many local facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005, but repairs were quickly completed and it reopened before the end of the year. The airport has recently undergone extensive renovations and now features more service providers and a higher seating capacity than it did prior to Katrina.
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