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The Beatnik – Living a Nomad’s Life

Tucked on the corner of Porter Avenue and Williams Street in Ocean Springs is an experiment – in bringing back a simpler time – a nomad’s existence – where the goal for patrons is to experience whatever you find, where you are. The brainchild of Ted and Roxy Condrey, owners of Rain Residential, the Beatnik is a unique and multilayered hospitality experience for travelers to the Secret Coast. The idea is to help visitors “unplug” and do things that they might not do at home.

The modern, yet nostalgic elements of this hotel include the chance to take an outdoor shower after a stroll on the nearby beach, spend quiet time in a contemplative garden, or sit around a fire pit visiting with newfound friends. Embedded in these experiences are themes of engaging human senses and the concept of permaculture, where each element of the design has more than one purpose: all while disconnecting from your normal life.

Living in what “feels” like a floating cabin or in an Airstream Motor Coach provides the backdrop of this “not something we would do at home” feel of the place. The theme of senses is captured in the textures and visual impacts of materials used in each cabin and across the design of the landscape. Smells and taste are reflected in plant choices that include flowers that also support pollinators and edible fruit, like blueberries, grapes and kumquats. The sounds of birds, insects and the crackling of an evening fire round out the experience.

But this oasis is just a homeport, from which visitors can venture out to nearby destinations that reflect the unique local elements around food, art and culture. And yet, the Beatnik is but one element of what is a collection of experiences that are planned by the Condrey’s and directly connected to the broader Porter Avenue, Ocean Springs and Mississippi gulf coast communities.

What is being called The Collective, will soon include an ever expanding and changing “collection” of small businesses that offer similar kinds of experiences for visitors and locals. The Apple Pear Café, Sea Change Brewery, Books on Porter, and the old neighborhood bar called Sweets are just across the street from the Beatnik.

This experiment in community development is a collaboration of local business start ups and established ones, like Vestige restaurant and The Greenhouse on Porter that share a theme of partnership that helps to lift all boats, together. This collective of like-minded entrepreneurs will continue the process of brainstorming what is possible to serve a diversity of clientele that will come.

That spirit of collaboration and brainstorming is also the story of the origin of the name of this unique hotel. As Ted and Roxy tell it, Rain Residential’s manager, Jim Gilfoil, summed up their description of their vision for the place by saying “this is the definition of a beatnik”.

The Beatnik – coming to Porter Avenue July 15th 2020.

For more on The Beatnick, visit
For more on the Ocean Springs Collective, visit


Written by Mark W. LaSalle, Ph.D.

Mark is a naturalist and wetland ecologist, providing expertise on wetlands, water quality and environmental impacts of humans. He has also developed and conducted a number of environmental education programs and workshops for youth, teachers, realtors, and the general public on a variety of subjects including wetlands, natural history, and environmental landscaping. Mark is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (B.S. and M.S. degrees) and Mississippi State University (Ph.D.). Mark is the recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation Conservation Educator Award, the Gulf Guardian Award, and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award.


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