Gilley Looks to Move Beyond Bingo

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

Country crossing has been open for more than a month, but this weekend was their grand opening celebration.

Ronnie Gilley is ready to put the bingo controversy behind him and move forward with expanding the project.

Alongside country music stars, area officials, and wiregrass citizens, a giant pair of novelty scissors made it official on Sunday: country crossing is here to stay.

“It's a monumental historical day for the state of Alabama,” said Gilley.

After several symbolic ribbon cutting ceremonies, Gilley made it clear, it’s time to look beyond bingo.

“This project is not bingo, this project is entertainment. We're looking forward to putting bingo behind us we're looking forward to let's stop talking about bingo and let's start talking about creating economic growth let's start talking about creating a tourist destination point and get help from our elected officials instead of them trying to fight us,”

Gilley says bingo is an important part of this project but says it's not what defines country crossing.

He says there are several other attractions that will bring in tourists from all over the country.

“We're looking forward to expanding this and turning it into the country music capital of the world,”

Gilley believes the bingo issue will one day, be put to rest.

“In three to seven years, nobody's going to be talking about bingo it's going to be here but no one's going to talk about it,”

He says bingo is a viable industry that will put money back into our communities.

“Something drastic has to happen we have a mechanism here that we can help turn that process around we can generate revenues. The fact today that we had 50-plus national media outlets here exposing our community and our project and our citizens speaks volumes of what we're trying to do,” added Gilley.

But it looks like the bingo controversy has only just begun.


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  • by Elaline Location: Dothan on Jan 20, 2010 at 01:15 PM
    Anyone who trashes Ronnie Gilley should look into their own backyard. I am sure that you are squeaky clean. NOT! Of course the man is going to make money but how many jobs will he create and how much money will he give back to the community. You don't need to wait and see....he already has done it. Alcohol was illegal also and the government made it legal so they could get a piece of the action. That is the only reason they are pissed off about Country Crossing. We need something in Houston County. We have for years and no one has until now. Don't call Houston County ignorant or Blind....we arent blind or ignorant. We will be smiling all the way to the bank.
  • by Steven Location: Dothan on Jan 20, 2010 at 08:26 AM
    Technically prostitution is the same crime as gambling. Its a crime against morality and it creates jobs. Why not let brothels go up in Houston County. People don't be stupid...do you think that this was chance that it is an election year. It is illegal, they know they are breaking the law, and they are undermining everyone. This was a plot to get gambling on an election ballot from the begining and people can't see it. And another thing, for everyone to be so against Riley, I sure see a lot of Brad Byrne for Gov. signs around the wiregrass. Who do you think got Byrne in the race....thats right Bob Riley. I don't support Riley and deffinatley don't support Byrne but I do support enforcing every law to the fullest extent. If you wan't a good Republican candidate you need to support Tim James.
  • by Guess I'm A Fool on Jan 20, 2010 at 06:18 AM
    Anybody that knows Ronnie Gilley & I mean really knows the man would know that he his one of the most kind & caring people you could ever want to meet. He cares deeply for his community and the people in it. I could go on & on about the good things Ronnie Gilley has done for those less fortunate, but there's just not enough space on here in which to do it. God knows his heart as do those lives in which his kind spirit has made a difference and that's really all that matters in this life. As far as trying to get media attention, I don't think he has to reach out for that. The issues with Riley & CC are a pretty hot subject right now and personally if I were a reporter that would be the story I'd be going after, it wouldn't have to be going after me. I think that is probally pretty much the case here.
  • by Guess I'm A Fool on Jan 20, 2010 at 06:04 AM
    Those of you who so freely bash Ronnie Gilley need to read Mathew Chapter 6, verses 1-6. Ronnie Gilley has given thousands of dollars in charity and he was doing it long before CC was even a dream in his brilliant mind. CC has been in business a little over a month & he has already given Houston County a check for 1.7 million dollars. I'd say CC alone is a form of giving back to the community, as well as the other business that Ronnie Gilley has established. Ronnie Gilley has put people in homes who otherwise would have never been able to afford one. He's given numerous under privileged children a Christmas when otherwise Christmas would have been just another day. I have personally saw him pay for a womans whole grocery bill when she came up short a few dollars in the checkout line. I've also saw him stuff money in the shirt pocket of some poor soul sitting on the street corner who was down on his luck and down to his last dime. These small acts of kindness are just a few of many.
  • by JH Location: Dothan on Jan 19, 2010 at 02:04 PM
    Of course Ronnie Gilley is looking to make money. Don't all businesses and businesspeople strive to make money? If he can provide jobs for the people in this area to make money as well, then kudos for him.
  • by Agree Location: Roll Tide on Jan 18, 2010 at 11:49 PM
    I agree, Gilley is about Gilley. Don't be blind Houston County. He could care less about you, jobs, or the economy. He cares about wht Ronnie Gilley is getting out of this. Why doesn't Gilley come out and say/show where he has given money back to the community? Because the only community he has given to is his "Community Bank" account. He makes all of you look like fools.
  • by JOANNE Location: DOTHAN on Jan 18, 2010 at 07:07 PM
    IT IS SO FUNNY TO ME. BINGO HAS NOT BROKEN HOMES, NO FAMILIY VIOLENCE, BUT RILEY AND BAPTIST PREACHERS ARE AGAINST IT. HOW ABOUT THE STATE OWNED LIQUOR STORES. DRUNKS DRIVING, KILLING FATHERS, MOTHERS KIDS. TELL ME DOES BINGO CREATE JOBS, OR LIQUOR???? I AM IN CHARGE OF MY BEHAVIOR, AND SO IS EVERY OTHER PERSON THAT LIVES IN THIS STATE. BESIDES THE MONEY THEY SPEND IS THEIR MONEY, THEY EARNED IT, (I THINK) SO LET THEM SPEND IT THE WAY THEY WANT. ALL OUR MONEY GOES TO FLA. LOTTO ANYWAY OR TO BILOXI..LOL BOY TALK ABOUT STUPIDITY......
  • by SHudson Location: southeast Alabama on Jan 18, 2010 at 03:34 PM
    I believe that Country Crossing is going to be an asset to our area...all some people want to harp on is "illegal gambling." You're not stopping to think of all the people that are working out there making a honest living-supporting their families-putting food on the table and NOT on welfare. If you would just take a moment to peek into your own families--i'm sure you just might find alcohol and/or drug abuse, someone in your family that goes across state lines to buy lottery tickets or such...does not the Bible say-judge not lest you be judged? And i guess you've all forgotten that the first check from Country Crossing was handed over to the commissioners at a mere 1.8 million dollars--are you not going to let your children go to the new library that part of this money is helping build?? Or do you not agree that the county jail should should build another pod to help house inmates? I don't personally know Gilley but i also wish him luck with this endeavor.
  • by Tammy Location: Enterprise on Jan 18, 2010 at 03:08 PM
    Of course Ronnie Gilley wants to make money. That's why people go into business! Some people are good at it and some people are not, that capitalism, baby! Go Ronnie!
  • by Terry Location: P.C. FL> on Jan 18, 2010 at 10:43 AM
    I think Gilley is a wonderful person for fighting so hard to help the people of Houston County, and the people who need jobs in this hard time. I wish him much luck with this adventure. The power hungry politicians should be ashamed of themselves.
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