Thousands Attend Country Crossing Rally

Supporters turn out in the rain to show support

rally photo


Thousands stood in the rain in Rip Hewes Stadium Saturday to listen to Ronnie Gilley speak about the Country Crossing development project. The plans for the country music entertainment complex were threatened recently by the formation of a Task Force to Stop Illegal Gambling by Governor Bob Riley. The plans for Country Crossing are based on electronic bingo as an economic facilitator to help fund the music park development project and bring it to completion. The rally was held because the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling was perceived as a direct threat to the project.

rally photo

With George Jones at his side, Ronnie spoke for about an hour about how Country Crossing would bring change to Alabama and to Houston County. Ronnie pointed out that with any change comes controversy.

"We've been under continuous attack from a select group since starting the Country Crossing development project. We're going to stay focused and we're going to bring the project to fruition, I promise you that." said Ronnie Gilley, "I need to let everybody understand that with this project, obviously, our focus is on entertainment."

rally photo

Ronnie went on to explain how the project would be impossible to bring off without electronic bingo. He also explained how, with bingo as an economic facilitator, Country Crossing would bring about a major expansion of trade and commerce not typical of the traditional electronic bingo operation.

Ronnie read a letter he plans to send to Governor Riley that pretty well sums up the situation with the Governor's threats to the project and the economic expansion in Southeast Alabama.
Read Ronnie's letter to Governor Riley here.

Ronnie clearly stated that the scope of the the project is not bingo, the scope of the project is a country music entertainment complex that will rival and surpass Branson Missouri.

Ronnie expanded on the viability of the the project and the economic expansion it will bring to the area by comparing it with Branson.

Branson facts

  • In the middle of nowhere
  • Not served by a major highway system
  • Not served by a major airport system
  • No country mega-stars appearing regularly (just a lot of Tony Orlando, Wayne Newton and stars who haven't had a hit record in 20 years)
  • No transient market (no travelers passing through the area)

In spite of Branson's short comings

  • Branson has 18,000 hotel rooms fully occupied year round.
  • Branson has 62,000 dinner theatre seats fully occupied year round.
  • Branson was visited by 7.8 million people last year, generating 7.8 billion in revenue.

Country Crossing in Dothan facts
Compared to Branson, here's why Country Crossing will do so well and bring economic expansion to our area.

  • Located in the middle of the strongest country music market in the world
  • Served by a major highway system
  • Served by a major airport system
  • In business with the biggest stars in the country music industry
  • 65 million cars pass through the area per year

Ronnie went on to give some conservative estimated projections of jobs created, tax revenues generated and contributions to charity by Country Crossing:


  • Year 1 - Two million dollars guaranteed by the developers
  • Year 2 - Five to ten million dollars

Tax Revenues

  • Year 1 - Five million dollars
  • Year 2 - Ten million dollars
  • Ongoing, stabilized tax revenue - greater than 25 million dollars

Job Creation

  • Year 1 - 1000 jobs
  • Year 2 - 2000 jobs
  • Ongoing, stabilized jobs - greater than 3500 but will likely be 7500 (and this doesn't even take into account the spinoff jobs that will be created) makes it easier for you to:

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