Lake Martin brings economic boost to Alex City - Montgomery Alabama news.

Lake Martin brings economic boost to Alex City

Lake Martin in Alex City Lake Martin in Alex City

It's been said Lake Martin covers 40,000 acres, an impressive number no doubt, but there is a much smaller figure that has far more of an impact. Fleming Sharp of Huntsville, Alabama, is a good example.

 "We got here yesterday afternoon," said Sharp.

 Sharp along with her two children are about to take a boat ride on Lake Martin and will stay near the lake through Sunday. When Sunday rolls around, the family will have spent around $200.

 "We typically come to the lake on the fourth and the beach in the fall," said Sharp.

 Therein lies the real payoff for people like Ann Rye who is the head of the Alex City Chamber of Commerce.

 "We are very fortunate," said Rye.

 Yet despite its beauty Rye says things could actually be better around Lake Martin. Rye tells WSFA 12 News there aren't enough retail grocers near the water.

"We have found that $261,000 is going out of our community every week for grocery-related products. That's an incredible number," said Rye.

 Heavy recruiting is underway to speed up the pace of new retail grocers. In fact, Rye tells WSFA 12 News a study is underway to determine how much of a 'grocers' gap there is for Lake Martin.

 Meantime, Alex City with its population of 15,000 people is the largest city surrounding the lake, and about half the homes on the shores are considered to be in the city limits.

 Ann Rye can only imagine what this town would be like without Lake Martin, certainly not the city it is today.

"It would be an rural Alabama town with no identity," Rye said.

No identity crisis here thanks to people like Fleming Sharp over the years, a deep well of steady business during the busiest of all summer holidays.

"The beach is too crowded on the fourth," said Sharp.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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