Alabama Senate approves beach convention hotel - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Alabama Senate approves beach convention hotel

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Senate passed legislation Tuesday night that would allow a private developer to operate a convention hotel on the beach at Gulf State Park.

The Senate's 23-11 vote sends the bill to the House for consideration. Immediately after the vote, Gov. Robert Bentley went to the Senate to thank members for their votes.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Trip Pittman of Daphne, said giving a 70-year ground lease to a developer would generate money that would help operate Alabama's other state parks.

Gulf State Park had a lodge and conference center that were ruined by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Bentley said a convention hotel and conference center, possibly built with BP oil spill money, would attract conventions now going to Sandestin in Florida.

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