Riley signs Gulf park hotel bill

GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Bob Riley has signed legislation to build the Gulf State Park hotel and convention center on the Alabama coast.

Riley signed legislation Tuesday at the site of the old park hotel that was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

The bill allows the state to lease beachfront property for 70 years to a private company for development of the hotel. The state would build and operate an adjoining convention center, in conjunction with coastal towns that would benefit from convention business.

Mayors from Orange Beach, Foley and Gulf Shores attended the signing.

Coastal officials had pushed for the development because they said they were losing conventions to Destin, Fla., and Biloxi, Miss.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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