Country Crossing's neighbors feel pains of extended closure

Country Crossing remains closed. Neighboring businesses are now feeling the pinch.
Country Crossing remains closed. Neighboring businesses are now feeling the pinch.

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Dothan, AL (WSFA) – Country Crossing's continued closure is impacting folks not even on its payroll. Nearby business owners say it's extended closure is significantly hurting their bottom line.

Dale Wiggins, Operating Owner of the Dothan National Resort, a hotel just a couple miles from Country Crossing, says the news that the complex would not re-open was not only a huge blow to morale,  but also to his pocketbook. "We had ten rooms already booked for this coming weekend, and of course this happened, and they had to cancel," he said.

Wiggins says that every month Country Crossing remains closed, his hotel loses nearly $25,000.

"It affects us in more than just our rooms. It affects us in our dining room, the bar, the golf course," he added.

It's a similar story down the road at Mollywood Imports. Owner Molly Dulac she says the decrease in traffic through the area has also hurt her profits.

"I'm upset because those were my potential customers," she explained. "There used to be thousands of extra cars going up and down from Georgia, Tennessee, and people were stopping. They bought a lot of pottery."

Some nearby business owners even say the dip in sales is forcing them to lay off their own employees.

Wiggins said, "A lot of our full-time people had to go to part-time, and we've had to lay off two maids completely.  We basically had to go back to skeleton crew."

Still, both are hopeful that the closing is only temporary. "I believe that Ronnie Gilley has the fortitude and patience," Dulac said, "and I believe he'll find a way to get this re-opened."

Wiggins thinks, "I would like to have it opened back up tomorrow because of how much it affects my people."

It's a true test of patience, as the battle over bingo escalates.

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