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.