Despite pandemic, Lake Martin area economy flourishes

Updated: Oct. 22, 2020 at 5:19 PM CDT
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TALLAPOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - With a global pandemic one would expect Lake Martin’s economy to be impacted much like the rest of the world. It was but not in the way you might have expected.

Cities and towns surrounding Lake Martin are riding a wave of good fortune in spite of the pandemic.

We’ll take Floyd’s Feed and Seed in Dadeville. The company is having a record year in its 40-year history.

“Probably like 30%, up 30% from last year," said owner Daniel Floyd.

The reason?

“Folks who spent limited time at the lake end up spending more time on their property," said Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance Executive Director Chad Odom.

And because people ended up staying longer at their lake homes, Dadeville is seeing a significant jump in their revenues as well, $140,000 more today in sales tax revenues compared to this time last year.

“Oh, they’ve been doing flower beds, gardens," said Floyd of those spending more time there.

Darin Nesbit knowingly took the risk of opening his NOLA-Bama Snack Shack 11 weeks ago in the middle of the pandemic. It was the lake that drew Nesbit away from retirement in New Orleans. He filled a niche and never looked back.

“We were extremely lucky, talking to my friends in Chicago who are out of work, you know and all the stuff in New Orleans," said Nesbit. He spent 25 years as a chef with some of the finest restaurants in the world in New Orleans.

Beyond Dadeville, other businesses are booming as well; the Marinas and the home building industry.

“I know home sales are through the roof," said Odom.

Right now, for example, 45 new homes are being built just in November around Lake Martin.

COVID has presented the good, the bad, and the ugly. Through it all, so far, there’s been one constant; Lake Martin’s economy.

Even Alex City leaders are also reporting a major increase in their sales tax revenues. Officials say they’re up nearly 13% compared to last year at this time.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.