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Southron

Country Crossing

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Houston County officials approved the creation of a Branson, Mo.-like resort with big-name entertainment, bingo, and an amphitheater. The project will be called Country Crossing and will include hotels, restaurants, retail shops and themed stores with ties to country music stars. Nearly a dozen Nashville stars have signed on, and seven others are expected soon. Developer Ronnie Gilley of Enterprise believes he'll get 40 to 50 entertainment commitments.

A site has yet to be chosen, but Country Crossing will be a $100-300 million development expected to attract half million visitors and employ nearly 3,000 people in its first year. Developers said it could grow to 1 million visitors and 4,200 jobs by the end of five years.

Proposed main components include Mandolin Grove, a 10,000+ capacity amphitheater for concerts; Little Nashville, an area of restaurants, shops, dinner theaters and a charity bingo center; Blue Grass Hollow, an RV Park; three resort hotels, with currently proposed names Echo Canyon Inn, Hawaiian Pear and Nashville Grand. Themed venues including Possum Holler, the George Jones Dinner and Theater Museum; Tracy Lawrence BBQ and Opry House; The Worley Bird Cafe, a restaurant and bar by Darryl Worley; John Anderson

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It's interesting for the grand scale of it and I certainly believe that Alabama is long overdue for a major

music attraction, but the location seems a little odd to me (I would think somewhere in north/northeast AL would make the most sense for a project with such a strong Nashville tie-in, as well as being closer

to major population centers and airports like Atlanta - or alternatively tie it in with something like the Alabama Motorsporks Park project in Mobile, as I'd think you'd be catering to similar audiences), and I'm just a bit skeptical about the whole tie-in with electronic bingo from the Q&A link.

Nevertheless, I wish Dothan the best of luck, and hope it works out for them.

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Hope this would help spur an interstate down from Columbus. Extending I-185 down from Columbus to the panhandle would make a lot of sense. Hopefully this will help.

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Country Crossings developer Ronnie Gilley announced lated yesterday he had closed on the property for the new development. The site involves 17 parcels encompassing 776 along West Smithville Road between US 231 and AL 109 including some frontage on 231. The site is just a bit south of the Dothan National Golf Club just a few miles north of the AL-FL state line.

Dothan Eagle article

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The Country Crossing project is still moving forward. Houston County set up an improvement district that gives developers the authority to install infrastructure without utilizing tax revenues. The district will own the streets and utilities, which would be tax exempt.

County setting up improvement district for Country Crossing

County approves improvement district

The project has a website now: Country Crossing

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According to the current website, the main attractions at Country Crossing will be:

Celebrity themed restaurants:

[*]George Jones

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