The Alabama legislature has paved the way for a new resort to be built on 29 acres of state-owned land at Gulf Shores State Park.
The bill allows Gov. Robert Bentley flexibility to work with a projects committee to decide the best way to build a major resort that would replace the state-owned lodge that was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
One of the most pristine areas in Alabama, a sandy white stretch at Gulf State Park, could become the site of a large hotel and conference center.
Bills pending in the Legislature would let the state use money from BP's Gulf oil spill fund to build a conference center and let a private developer build an adjoining hotel. The Republican sponsors, Sen. Trip Pittman and Rep. Steve McMillan, said the goal is to create an upscale site on the Alabama coast to attract conventions like those drawn to Sandestin in the Florida Panhandle.