Country Crossing Off to Hot Start

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

Country Crossing has been in business for a full week now and officials with the controversial entertainment complex are saying so far, so good.

Country crossing has been a popular destination thus far for tourists and wiregrass residents alike.

Officials say on a typical day, they see between 7,000 to 10,000 thousand people and that's just those coming through the bingo pavilion.

Officials say Country Crossing is up and running and finally hitting its stride.

“There is to be some glitches but we got them worked out pretty quickly first couple of days now everything's rolling like it's supposed to,” said Frank Wendt, President of the Houston Economic Development Association.

Wendt says the bingo pavilion is proving to be pretty popular.

“On an average day we'll give out winnings in excess of 20,000 dollars. I think a couple nights ago we actually had one lady winning 15,000,”

“The crowds that have come out have been tremendous, we've been really busy throughout the whole first week,” added Wendt.

Wendt says the positive response wasn't a surprise.

“We expected quite a strong turnout just given the pent up demand out there surrounding the publicity surrounding the project we really anticipated some strong crowds in the first few weeks,”

“Hopefully Ronnie’s vision came true, it's rustic Alabama and it's a hometown feel,” said Mark Sheldon with Ronnie Gilley Properties.

Sheldon says the complex is already benefiting the area.

“Everything's been real positive people love the fact that there's people working and the economy's getting a real influx and you drive around and you look at the different car tags there's a lot of people from out of state bringing dollars into Alabama which is exactly what we wanted to see,”

Construction crews are working hard to complete the amphitheater before this Saturday’s big concert. Organizers expect more than 5,000 people to show up.

“I would hope to already be done in the amphitheater but you know we'll work up until Friday and we'll be ready for Saturday night,” said Sheldon.

“I hope the weather holds out for the Kellie Pickler concert on Saturday. Rain or shine show, the starts at 6:30,”

As far as the payout goes for the bingo machines, Country Crossing officials say if someone hits it big, they'll write a check during normal business hours in excess of $25,000.

Phase two is already underway.

They hope to break ground on the next venue, Randy Owens Family Entertainment Center, by the end of the month.

Gates for the Kellie Pickler concert on Saturday open at 4:30 p.m.

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