Rankin First | Economic Development Authority | P.O. Box 129 | Brandon, MS 39043 USA | 601-825-5335
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Hotel, Conference Center, Golf Course off to Hot Start

Jul. 22, 2021

Source: Rankin County News

Flowood – Business is booming at Flowood’s latest upscale development.

            The 200-room Sheraton Flowood Refuge Hotel and Conference Center and the revamped Refuge Golf Course recently opened, and all three facilities are attracting both local residents and out-of-towners.

            The hotel and conference centers are located at 2200 Refuge Boulevard off Airport Road.  The newly redesigned and vastly improved Refuge Golf Course sits adjacent to the two facilities.

            The hotel will feature numerous amenities, though the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is delaying deliveries of needed equipment, and contributing to a worker shortage.  A culinary school, spa, rooftop bar with sweeping views, and a white tablecloth restaurant are yet to be completed, but that doesn’t appear to be hurting business.

            The facility’s resort-style swimming pool and Lazy River attraction have been in use since Day One.

            “Things are going really well,” Flowood Mayor Gary Rhoads said.

            “On Saturday night (July 10), the hotel was at 98 percent capacity.  The day before that, I went by in the afternoon and it was at 45 percent occupancy, and then the rest came in.”

            “A problem they’re having is finding people to work.  That’s held them up from opening some other venues, like the restaurant and the rooftop bar.  We’re still waiting on equipment for the cooking school, the spa, and the rooftop bar.  The restaurant is supposed to open at the end of the month.”

            “The conference center has already hosted several events,” he said.  “The numbers are way above what they expected.  The same group is managing the hotel and conference center.  The conference center will bring guests to the hotel, who will play golf at the finest course around.  We are really proud of this development, and look forward to accommodating both locals and visitors,” Rhoads said.

            Tom Troxler, executive director of the Rankin First Economic Development Authority, said members of his family recently stayed at the hotel and had a wonderful experience.

            “My wife and I took two of our three grandchildren this past weekend for a staycation weekend there,” Troxler said.  “They absolutely loved it.  I’m pretty sure that Friday and Saturday night, the hotel was basically full.  One of the concerns at first was that there wouldn’t be a lot of weekend (business).  Well, there was.”

            “That’s a very good thing for the hotel, and I think it’s because of the amenities, which (currently) include the pool, the Lazy River, and the golf course.  I think it will have a tremendous impact not just on Flowood, but the entire county.  People who come are also going to go to a Braves game, or Bass Pro Shop, or the outlet mall, or the (Brandon) amphitheater.  The rooftop bar, once it’s open, will stay busy seven days a week, not only for hotel guests, but from locals throughout the metro area.  It’s an incredible view, and it’s a very nice venue.”

            The future looks bright for the conference center as well,” Troxler said.

            “Conferences are usually booked a year ahead of time, and I know that they’ve been getting a lot of calls from statewide organizations,” he said.

            “And a lot of them will have golf outings and tournaments as part of their two or three-day program.  This facility obviously opens up more conferences that will come (to Flowood) that might not have looked here in the first place.  You have a really nice hotel and golf course that is adjacent to the facility.  I think it’s going to be a huge success.”

            “They bill it as ‘Mississippi’s first urban resort,’ and when you actually experience it, it really is,” he said.  “Most resorts are out from a city, but this in one that’s in the middle of the Jackson metro area that offers everything that a luxury resort would offer.  The whole package is something you typically don’t find in an urban location.

            “And one thing we haven’t talked about is the (Jackson International) Airport.  I think once travelers get used to knowing that it’s there, it’s going to be a big hit.  And they’ll be bringing their golf bags with them, and their swim trunks.”


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