Gulf State Park

Governor Robert Bentley is in West Virginia today.  He’s highlighting the Gulf State Park Project as an innovative strategy for tourism and economic development at the Summer Meeting of the National Governors Association.

Governor Bentley is the vice-chair of NGA’s Economic Development and Commerce Committee.

Bentley presented Alabama’s plans for the Gulf State Park Project and highlighted its benefits for the state’s tourism industry.

Governor Robert Bentley says the state faces a “real crisis” with its budget. Bentley is now taking his fight to fill the state’s coffers to the streets.

The governor is continuing his tour of speaking engagements to rally support for his proposed $541 million tax proposal. He spoke at Guntersville State Park yesterday.

Despite a dire budget situation that may force two thirds of Alabama's state parks to close, two of the parks remaining open are planning to build new hotels on site.

Both Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores and Oak Mountain State Park south of Birmingham are finalizing major upgrade plans to their facilities, which include multi million dollar hotels.

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.


BP and federal and state officials have reached an agreement on proposed early restoration projects from the BP oil spill that are expected to cost about $94 million.

The projects are part of BP's plan to provide up to $1 billion in funding for recovery of natural resources that were impacted in the BP oil spill.

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.

Signs of last year's fire that scorched nearly 1,000 acres can still be found at Gulf State Park, but dramatic signs of its recovery are also evident.

WKRG-TV reports that what was charred timbers and ashes is now tall grasses, flowers and wildlife after the June 2011 blaze.

Park naturalist C.J. Jarmon says four months after the June 2011 wildfire, a salvage operation removed a lot of the dead timber and mulched mounds of debris.

So far, 23,000 long leaf pine trees have been planted in the area to help refurbish it.