Alabama court: plan for Gulf hotel violates law

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Supreme Court says the state government's plan for a luxury hotel at the state park in Gulf Shores violates Alabama law.

The ruling Friday came in a four-year legal battle over plans by Gov. Bob Riley's administration to lease land at Gulf State Park to Auburn University and then have the Atlanta-based West Paces Hotel Group build a luxury hotel on the land.

The Supreme Court said the state's plan to give a 70-year lease on the state park land violated a state law that puts a 12-year limit on contracts for private companies to operate concessions in state parks.

The luxury hotel was planned for the former site of the Gulf State Park Lodge, which was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)