An Alabama House committee has approved legislation that would allow the construction of a large hotel and conference center on the beach at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores.
The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee voted 13-2 for the bill. It would permit a private developer to work with the state in building a hotel with more than 300 rooms and a conference center that would seat more than 1,000 for a meal. The official who oversees state parks, Conservation Commissioner Gunter Guy, says he envisions a facility similar to the Marriott convention hotels that the Retirement Systems of Alabama has built.
Opponents, including a privately operated convention hotel in Orange Beach, say the state is abandoning the idea that state park lodging should be affordable to average Alabamians.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.