Country Crossing News

The Ronnie Gilley development project, Country Crossing, is making quite a splash around in and around Dothan Alabama. Even Branson and Nashville are taking notice.

Keep up with the news on Ronnie Gilley's project here. Post your comments on Country Crossing news articles here.



Governor threatens Country Crossing - supporters turn out in the rain to show support

Thousands stood in the rain in Rip Hewes Stadium at a Country Crossing rally 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 oddly timed formation of the Governor's Task Force to Stop Illegal Gambling by Governor Bob Riley.

The plans for the Country Crossing development project are based on electronic bingo being an economic facilitator to fund the music park to completion.

The Governor's Task Force to Stop Illegal Gambling was perceived as a direct threat to the project, hence the rally.

Read the article here.

Read Ronnie Gilley's letter to Governor Riley here.


Bingo permit issued for Country Crossing

With a packed house of supporters and detractors in attendance, the Houston county commission voted in favor of issuing a preliminary bingo permit for the Country Crossing development project. The permit is the last thing the Commission needed to approve so that the project can proceed at full speed.

Now the project can only be halted through legal challenges brought by those in opposition. But Chairman Mark Culver has said that the county did an extensive examination of the legality of bingo before acting on existing laws.

Read the Dothan Eagle story here.


Pastor urges county commissioners to reconsider "Bingo" project

A Dothan pastor is urging county commissioners to drop their support for an electronic bingo pavilion at a proposed country music development.

The Bethal Baptist Church pastor called the electronic gambling machines "the crack cocaine of the industry" and said it could spark increased crime and poverty levels.

As reported by a Nashville news station quoting the Dothan Eagle.

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Ronnie Gilley land deal nearly $20 million

A mortgage agreement filed Monday in connection with the purchase of the Country Crossing land shows the agreed-upon purchase price for 375.2 acres off Highway 231 South was $19,840,000, or about $53,000 per acre.

Read the full Dothan Eagle article here.

Post your comments on this news article here.


Country music theme park groundbreaking date certain: Oct 27

Eight months after announcing he would move Country Crossing from Coffee County to Houston County, Ronnie Gilley will be moving dirt.

Ronnie Gilley Properties, through its Nashville-based marketing firm, announced Tuesday that the official groundbreaking ceremony for Country Crossing will take place Monday, Oct. 27 at 1 p.m. at the new site on Highway 231 South. The public is invited to attend.

The entire Dothan Eagle article here.

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Ronnie Gilley announces land deal finalized and new site for Country Crossing

Developer Ronnie Gilley has confirmed that he has closed on property for the Country Crossing project and that the tentative groundbreaking for the entertainment venue will be on Oct. 27.

Gilley purchased 400 acres of land just off Highway 231 south belonging to local attorney Keith Givens about a mile-and-a-half from another site he had been considering as a location for the development. Gilley said the Givens property, also known as Southern Farms, had been vetted and did not have any historical or environmental issues that would prevent construction.

Gilley declined to say how much was paid for the property.

"Aplenty," he said. "This has been a process, to say the least," Gilley said Tuesday from his Enterprise office.

Read the full Jackson County Floridian article.

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Sept 2008

Tennessee worries about competition from Country Crossing in Dothan

From a Business TN editorial:

This past spring, the county commission in Houston County, Alabama, unanimously approved plans for a country music resort, "Country Crossing," to be built near Dothan, Ala. Billed as a Branson-like national destination, the proposed $300 million complex (part of which is to be called "Little Nashville") would include numerous performance venues, hotels (including "Nashville Grand") and themed restaurants. An unofficial economic impact study published by the Dothan Eagle found that in its 10th year of operation the development could reach total revenues of over $870 million, with nearly 5,000 jobs created.

Lead developer Ronny Gilley says more than 20 country music artists are on board to locate themed venues at Country Crossing. A frequent collaborator on real estate developments with various country artists, including Kix Brooks, Gilley says he never had any discussions with any one in Tennessee with regards to possibly locating Country Crossing in the Volunteer State.

Post your comments on this news article here.


Ronnie Gilley talks about the Country Crossing project

The B-I-N-G-O word hardly came out of Ronnie Gilley's mouth Thursday when he addressed the annual meeting of the Dothan Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Country Crossing, he said, was never ABOUT bingo. It is about entertainment. Country music entertainment, and creating a destination unlike any in the world. Where else could you pick any weekend of the year and find a top country act performing. This will happen, he says, on Highway 231 South at Smithville Road, the site of the development...

Read all of Debbie Ingram's Dothan Eagle blog post here.

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Branson chimes in on the Country Crossing project

Just before the Houston County Commission made the agreement for the project, it introduced and unanimously passed new regulations for charitable bingo in Houston County...

...For all practical purposes the "electronic bingo machines" are very similar to slot machines in both looks and results.

...that says volumes about just how committed the county and the project are to family entertainment and what the project is really intended to be. It might end up being a Bingo for them with gambling and entertainment but, from its very inception, that is what it will be and that's not what brings millions of visitors to Branson. At least for now, Branson is still that special place with that special spirit that can't be built or developed but can be lost if those to whom the gift is given don't cherish and protect it.

Read the full article from the Branson Courier.

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Details released on the Country Crossing development project in Dothan Alabama

Ronnie Gilley, owner of Ronnie Gilley Properties said, "...the first phase of the construction will be the Midway Theme Park, the Amphitheater, the Musical Fairgrounds, which will hold about four festivals a year."

The Tracy Lawrence Bar-B-Q and Opera House is expected to be the first entity of phase one.

Next to come is the George Jones' Restaurant.

"Possum Holler is an upscale dinner theater," Gilley adds. "It'll take a little longer to build, but it's coming."

And, so is an RV park designed with the baby boomer generation in mind.

"We're going to build an upscale RV park with 500 slots on it and we'll go up from there," Gilley said.

The grand opening is expected to take place in July of 2009.

Reported by WTVY News.

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WTVY reports on Country Crossing coming to Dothan

Not only Houston County is set to benefit from a large resort coming. Dothan City Manager Mike West says Dothan will also see a great impact...

"If we could bring that here and get that going, then maybe we feed off of that in our downtown and really create the cultural and entertainment district that we think downtown should be," says West...

Reported by WTVY News.

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$300 million Houston County development... did you say $300 million?... uhhh... Cool!

Though originally expected to be located northeast of Enterprise, a $300 million country music entertainment development is finding a home in Houston County, thanks to action taken by the Houston County Commission Monday.

Ronnie Gilley, owner of Ronnie Gilley Properties, and country music icon George Jones, official RGP spokesperson and an investor in RGP projects, announced the "Country Crossing" development Monday at the commission meeting, where Gilley said the $250 to $300 million investment will create more than 4,000 jobs within five years and will have a "massive spinoff" in other areas such as Enterprise and Coffee County.

"We (Coffee County and Enterprise) are going to be a huge recipient of it," Gilley said Monday. "It's going to help from a jobs standpoint and especially from a residential standpoint."

"Country Crossings" is a mammoth project Gilley characterized as somewhat of a cross between Disney World and Branson, Mo. The plans, which can be viewed on, call for an amphitheatre, resort hotels, an amusement park, restaurants and shops all focusing on music themes. Gilley said the development will have a "modern-day twist," however, because unlike Branson, Country Crossing will feature popular contemporary artists on a regular basis.

Though the project is a tall order, Gilley assured that it is a reality and it will have a positive impact in Southeast Alabama...

Read the full Southeast Sun article here.

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Country Music Television reports on Dothan's Country Crossing

Country Crossing, a country music resort to be built near Dothan, Ala., received approval from the Houston County Commission in Dothan on Monday (Feb. 25).

Country Music Hall of Fame member George Jones and entertainment attorney Joel Katz accompanied real estate developer Ronnie Gilley to the morning meeting to present plans for the complex that aims to be a national tourist destination similar to Branson, Mo.

Despite Branson's remote location, Katz said the area flourished because of the demand for family-oriented entertainment.

The proposals surrounding Country Crossing include performance venues, hotels and restaurants, along with a midway and an RV park. Gilley said several country artists are expected to sign agreements to headline at Country Crossing venues.

From a CMT article.

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