Natchez gets big boost from Taylor, tour guide cover

Published 8:16 am Saturday, January 30, 2021

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When travelers from all over the world pick up their copy of the latest issue of the Mississippi Tour Guide, guess who is on the cover?

Film producer Tate Taylor and Hollywood star Octavia Spencer, for sure, but also a nod to a story about a city they’ve both made their home — Natchez.

Not only is it great exposure for a booming film economy in Mississippi, but also great exposure for a city that was once called “a hidden jewel.”

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Natchez has not been doing a lot of hiding lately, thanks to Taylor, his partner John Norris and their friends in the film industry.

The city has become the set of not just one but multiple of Taylor’s films, “Ma,” “Get on Up” and most recently “Breaking News in Yuba County.”

In the featured article, Taylor talks more about his efforts to restore old buildings — like the former train Depot on Broadway Street — and make them a destination for all to see.

“I’m working to restore places in Natchez in order to not only save certain structures but also to increase the appeal of Natchez to outsiders, like those in my business. … ‘Build it and they will come’ is what I live by,” Taylor said in the article.

Those are words that countless travelers read as they pick their next destination.

That is exciting news to all of us who wait eagerly for the COVID-19 vaccine to do its work and the economy to flow freely again, perhaps bringing new visitors to Natchez.