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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  • by amy Location: marianna on Jan 19, 2011 at 04:31 PM
    why does it matter if someone wants to go and sit in front of a machine its not your money Iam spending. Or maybe thats it you really have no clue what you are talking about.
  • by Tammy Location: Florida on Oct 2, 2010 at 06:52 PM
    I'm with Uncle Troy, Why aren't the venue's open, why have they been lumped in with the gambling. I surely don't care about the gambling. My interest was the Entertainer's. George Jones, Lorrie Morgan, etc. They have investments there and the fans where very excited to see them. What a let down for everybody.
  • by Jerry Location: Dothan on Aug 11, 2010 at 04:51 PM
    Bingo is the main draw that is certain. Even though the resturants were good, they could not think of having enough business to support that venue. Wheather bingo be legal or not, we should of had the right to vote on it. But Czar Riley either pressured those who wanted to support a vote or just backhandedly got rid of them(Harri Anne Smith is an example). The tax money and tourist revenue that could have been brought in by now would have done this county some good.Like Gilley said, he would be well into phase 2 by now with another 1000 jobs.We are lucky that he has not packed up and took this idea to Miss. where he has had offers to do so. Hang in the Ronnie till Nov. and let Sparks get your business back on track.
  • by rodsmith on Aug 11, 2010 at 09:40 AM
    wake up uncle troy. the bingo was the draw. you know just like a shopping mall. you can have 200 small stores in that mall. BUT if you dont' have a big main line store there to draw the people to the mall it's DEAD. Northside mall is a perfect example it's two big draws were walmart and woolworth's when those closed it died for years 75% of the mall you know the entire back section and the bottom floor was closed off and the access blocked. Now most of it's being destroyed for a new publix but that won't bring back the 30-40 small stores that closed.
  • by Uncle Troy Location: Al on Aug 6, 2010 at 08:14 AM
    Can someone explain to me why,The restaurant's,hotel's and the music venue's are not opened? Why can't these business's be opened to provide much needed employment and when the Bingo issue is settled,these venue's would already be in full operation? Mr Gilley says he is broke,wouldn't that create him and his invester's revenue and put local people back to work?Oh, and one more thing what IF and I'm just saying "WHAT IF" a year from now for some reason CC is not opened,what then? By the way I got no dog in this fight,I'm just curious.Thanks
  • by Jenn Location: Mont. on Aug 3, 2010 at 01:16 PM
    I wonder why the governor has spent more time in 1 month dealing with bingo than he has his entire term dealing with creating jobs or the BP oil spill. Thanks for not looking out for us Bingo Bob.
  • by Amy Reid Location: Dothan on Aug 3, 2010 at 01:09 PM
    Ronnie has a right to be frustrated, our entire political system is taking a squat over businesses and leaving a steamy load. its unbelievable that our own Gov has turned his back on his own state and instead of using these businesses for there full potential and implementing laws to have them give back to our state, he rather close them all down and run them out of town.
  • by Kenny Location: Troy on Aug 3, 2010 at 01:08 PM
    I don't get why these people want to get up and be rowdy about it being illegal. It hasn't been illegal for 18 years, even the county approved it to be legal. It will reopen in a few months, just hold onto your hats.
  • by Brian Location: sweet home alabama on Aug 3, 2010 at 01:06 PM
    Why wouldn't he be frustrated, his business is being unfairly treated because our Gov is worthless and is fully working for the Indians that paid him off to do a job. Its unfair that CC hasn't had a chance to prove the legality of there machines.
  • by William Location: Dothan on Aug 3, 2010 at 01:05 PM
    Bingo is legal. Riley is delusional.
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