Gilley Frustrated that Country Crossing Remains Closed

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

Country Crossing closed its doors back in January as the legal battle over electronic bingo began.

More than seven months later, the multi-million dollar complex remains empty.

What was once a bustling tourist destination is now a ghost town.

“We were bringing new tax dollars into our state. (But) now we're waiting for a break. I think it's time for the good guys to win one for a change,” said developer Ronnie Gilley.

But until that break comes, Gilley says Country Crossing will stay closed.

“The fact that we invested $165 million and it's closed down and there's no logical explanation for that, it makes me feel sick, I’m nauseated by that,” he added.

Gilley says the financial losses are piling up.

“In the millions and millions of dollars, you know our power bill alone is $30,000 a month. We have been knocked to our knees with this whole fiasco here,”

Gilley says if everything went according to plan, this complex would be flourishing.

“We would have two more hotels completed today, the Randy Owens Family Entertainment Center would be open today, Tracy Lawrence Steakhouse would have been completed by today, and we'd be well into phase two of our project. We would probably be somewhat close to 1,800 workers right now.”

But now, the entire project is at a standstill.

“The problem with additional phases as we stand right now is we're out of money, we're broke,” explained Gilley.

Gilley hopes the newly elected politicians in November will help put him back in business.

“Why don't we create a greater good for the citizens of this state and let's tax, limit, and regulate electronic bingo?” asked Gilley.

Gilley knows this November’s election is crucial for his business, he says he knows who he is going to vote for in the governor’s race, but wouldn't reveal his choice just yet.

On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court overturned a Macon County Circuit judge's order that blocked Governor Bob Riley's task force on gambling from raiding the Victoryland electronic bingo hall.

In a unanimous ruling, the justices overturned the order put in place in March.

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