Country Crossing Considering Out-of-State Move

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

Despite the failure of yesterday's two bingo bills in the Alabama state senate, supporters of electronic bingo remain confident a new bill can pass.

A bill that would have allowed Country Crossing to re-open was rejected along with another bill that called for a statewide vote on the issue.

But Country Crossing officials admit, they are entertaining the idea of relocating the project out of state.

“Mr. Gilley is continuing to get courted by several out of state interests. We're highly anticipating a move if we don't get some clarity on this issue,” said Doug Rainer with Ronnie Gilley Properties.

But they're not giving up on Houston County just yet.

“We're going to continue to keep our heads up here we're looking forward to moving forward with the project,”

The entertainment complex has been closed for almost two months.

“They've got a significant investment in Houston County,” said county commission chairman Mark Culver.

Culver believes without Country Crossing, the people of Houston County lose a great asset to the community.

“We're out opportunity, we're out thousands of jobs, we're out significant revenue that we don't currently have coming into the county and charities and education coffers, we're out bringing thousands of tourists to our community, it would be a loss,” said Culver.

Bingo supporters believe another bill will be introduced.

“It needs to be a clean bill that can pass the legislature and be put out to the people,” said Culver.

“We're very disappointed but we're hoping the legislators can come through with a modified version of the bill,” said Rainer.

Country Crossing officials say Alabama legislators should listen to the people.

“Allow the people of Alabama to vote on the issue, they've made it loud and clear that's what they want to do, let's just hope our legislators will listen to them,” added Rainer.

Culver agrees.

“What we need to do is give the overwhelming majority of people in the state of Alabama the chance to vote one way or the other, the chance to vote, and that's pretty simple to me,”

Chairman Culver says if Country Crossing were to move, it wouldn't cost the county a thing.

But Culver says the legal fees that Country Crossing has amassed over the past two years have cost the county a little more than $100,000.

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