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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  • by CJ Location: wiregrass on Mar 9, 2010 at 12:24 PM
    I wish everyone had been just as vocal when all our plant jobs were heading overseas. Instead, we rolled over and played dead. Shame on all of us!
  • by Jerry Location: Midland City on Mar 8, 2010 at 09:49 PM
    Your right about that Ben, its time to let people vote. I could easily live with the results and there would be no doubt about how people really feel.Stop letting the minority religious zelots and corrupt governor make these decision.I thought it was suppose to be a democaracy.Looks more like a republic to me,and Riley in charge trying to run it like a monarchy.If you really want to show your leaders you mean business, take your business elsewhere.We all live close enough to the GA & FL lines to take our business there, I know I do whenever possible.Or use the internet to buy products.Show them if they are unwilling to fight for jobs then you are not willing to help support the city and state.
  • by Karen Location: wiregrass, Dothan on Mar 8, 2010 at 02:46 PM
    I feel that the Bingo and gambling issue needs to be voted on. At this time we the people of Alabama are sending are money to other states if we want to gamble supporting their schools ect. We need the jobs and revenue for ALABAMA. I was so proud of our first lady when she sceamed into the micrphone for people to find a job and go to work. Dear lady most people would rather be working. Bob Riley get off of your rear end and let the people vote. After all it is OUR STATE.
  • by Ben on Mar 7, 2010 at 04:06 PM
    I don't see the harm. If I want to blow my last dime on a slot, that is MY choice, not the government, or the church. Dothan has had crime, and will always have crime. Unfortunetly, that is a fact of life. Nobody seems to understand that this will create jobs. It's desperate out there. People need work. Let Country Crossing operate, and other businesses will want to relocate in Dothan. With or without Country Crossing, I am sure Dothan will be fine. We can gripe, point fingers at one another, but the fairest thing to do is let the people of Alabama vote on it. If it passes it passes. If it don't, well then their is no excuse. Do the right thing Bob Riley, and let us vote on the issue.
  • by Lynn Location: Wiregrass on Mar 7, 2010 at 09:43 AM
    Stop for a minute and consider this, what is he being asked to move ? The land ? No. The buildings ? No. The business itself ? Uhhhhhhhh excuse me, anyone from anywhere in the US could move to Georgia and open a Casino, you know, people with real money, not borrowed and stolen from everyone else money. What is it he has been offered and for what ? He has nothing to move, nothing to offer ? Hello people, explain what he is considering moving ??
  • by laurel Location: phenix city on Mar 6, 2010 at 02:07 PM
    yall people are confusing me.Is mr gilley a good person or a bad person in this case or is he just the kind of person where he wants people to line his wallet and make his wallet bigger.what im trying to say is he doing it just to make money or is he doing it just to make dothan a better attraction destination spot or to make dothan a better confused about this bingo thing.Can someonebody really please explain this stuff to really confused.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 6, 2010 at 12:27 PM
    People need to take a better look at counties that rely on gambling in other states. They generally have an extremely low crime rate-people have been watching too much tv. Gambling in any form is a form of entertainment. It can be taken to extreme like any other enjoyment. There are people who drink too much, eat too much, etc. Gambling has been going on since the beginning of time and will continue. There are different forms and most much more expensive then a slot machine. People from Al and Fl take their dollars to other states too enjoy theirself gaming. I am 65 years old and this is mindless therapy for me. I meet wonderful people and it is a form of entertainment. How cheap or expensive is up to me. But these places hire lots of people and give lots of tax dollars to the states they are in. People need to do a little investigation of what good it has done for the indian nation and the states that have allowed it before they start talking.
  • by SonOfSpam Location: Dothan on Mar 6, 2010 at 11:38 AM
    Too many people live sheltered lives. Dothan is a cesspool of murder, theft, burglary, prostitution, drugs and poverty. The cause of all this is not bingo, it is chronic unemployment and underemployment that leads to desperation. A 700 acre theme park will draw in huge numbers of tourists, which will cause other businesses to locate here to take advantage. Like a domino effect more and more jobs will be created, people will enjoy better and better lifestyles and the city will flourish. What we don't need are the predatory churches selling fantasy to our desperate and poor, taking their last dollar to fund the wealthy lifestyles of the church bosses and creating no jobs, and no commerce.
  • by candacecoachman Location: dothan on Mar 6, 2010 at 06:06 AM
    i don't think moving is the anwser to the problem. The problem is there are some people that don't want the people to vote because they scared that the people that's gonna vote for. Their not looking at the fact that is not only jobs for te people, but its other projects that the facility plans on having that can bring families together if legislature is ging t focus on a issue they need to focus on the whole project instead of just bingo. They are peopl that's been out of work for months and what is the governor plan on doing about (nothing). Also famalies hasn't been abe to take care of their famalies because they haven't had a job. What about education? What is he doing to help education at least Gilley is giving back to the community and is helping out education ,but their ot looking a that issue. If it was such a big issue before why did they allow country crossing in open t first place. Its a big issue because Gilley thought of the idea before they did.
  • by laurel Location: phenix city on Mar 5, 2010 at 10:59 PM
    if country crossing is considering moving the project out of state then they need to move country crossing to georgia maybe to atlanta because country crossing would make tons of money and business in atlanta.But thats if georgia allows it.If georgia allows it then why not invest the project in georgia especially atlanta.I mean come on what a good idea bigger metro more people more money.check to see first if georgia allows this stuff first.
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