With a tribal blessing, a big announcement.
“It is now my honor to unveil such an amazing project, Owa.”
The 520-acre project once known as Blue Collar Country will now be known as Owa, a Creek word meaning big water.
“This is going to change south Alabama,” says Tim Martin, president of Creek Indian Enterprises Development Authority. “It will change the state. Once we’re through with what we are going to do here, we are going to re-write Alabama and tourism.”
Along with the name, the vision for the development was revealed through an animated fly-through of the project. Dining, retail and entertainment that includes a 20 ride amusement park. “We want to make this a world-class, family destination for tourism and compliment the 6 point 2 million people that already come to our beautiful beaches,” says Martin.
After three years of maybes and ifs, the 500 million dollar entertainment and sports tourism investment is closer than ever to reality. “Once the Poarch Creek Council stepped in and approved it I knew it could happen. The first developer had a grand idea but not the resources to make it happen. Poarch Creek has the resources,” says Foley mayor John Konair.
Non-stop construction has carved out a footprint of what is to come. Already under construction a 150 room Marriott hotel. Next to it, a 90 thousand square foot event center. Future development will include a water park, more hotels, along with an island amphitheater in a 14-acre lake.
“It’s absolutely exciting,” says Orange Beach city councilwoman Joni Blalock. “I’m so thrilled that this is going to be in our area and our tourists are going to be their tourists and it’s going to be a big happy family.”
Developers hope by next year there will be something else on your to-do list when visiting south Baldwin County.”I will have people riding roller coasters Monday, Memorial Day,” says Martin.
The new development will also bring with it 34 hundred new jobs and an estimated economic impact of more than 200 million dollars.