The Local Economy

Information on the economy for South Alabama and Northwest Florida along the Gulf Coast.

Found 27 blog entries about The Local Economy.


Visitors and residents in the Foley area will have already noticed that the construction on the new OWA amusement park has been making some impressive progress since the start of the year. The first phase of construction on the expansive family-friendly amusement park is nearly complete and some of the most exciting attractions planned for the area are nearly complete.

When completed, OWA (owa means "big water") will take up 520 acres of prime real estate right off the Foley Beach Express. Part of the first phase of construction includes an amusement park with over 20 rides and exciting attractions for visitors of all ages. Right next to the amusement park is a shopping and dining area that was inspired by traditional Southern towns, with a distinct

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Terry Cove aerial image with condos and places labeled

Terry Cove is a small area of Orange Beach that offers some of the best features in town. The waterways pour into the Gulf of Mexico here, making it a popular area for taking the boat out for the day to go fishing or just enjoy the sights. Ono Island is just east by Perdido Pass and the end of Highway 61. Perdido Pass is the most popular place on the Alabama Gulf Coast to beach your boat or hop around to one of the numerous watering holes in Orange Beach. This area is close to the Florida state line, which sits approximately two miles east (left in the image) from Perdido Key, FL. In the other direction, Gulf Shores is a short drive away at just six miles or so from this area. The central location and spectacular views make Terry Cove one of the most

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 Just down the road from The Track Family Recreation Center, about a quarter of a mile north of the beach, Waterville USA offers some of the best water attractions on the Gulf Coast! Waterville USA is both a waterpark and an amusement park spread out over 20 acres near the Gulf State Park. The park originally opened in 1986 and, since then, it has become one of the most popular destinations in all of Baldwin County, Alabama.

The waterpark portion of Waterville USA features over seventeen water attractions, including pools, a lazy river, waterslides, and a wave pool, just to name a few. The Dune Racer, one of the most popular waterslides, features several different tubes so the whole family can race down these 55-foot tall slides. Little kids

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Growth along the Alabama & Florida Gulf CoastAs we have recently seen, Gulf Shores, Alabama is becoming a more and more popular choice for potential home buyers, vacationers, and investors. As the word gets out, there has been a gradual increase in the number of tourists, who come here for both the beautiful white-sand beaches and to stay in some of the Gulf Coast's most popular rental condos. This increase in tourism and the popularity of staying in a rental condo versus a hotel makes Gulf Shores particularly appealing to potential investors.

People flock to the Gulf Coast for spring break, summer break, or just to enjoy the sunshine after a long winter. October is typically one of the last months of the year that sees a large influx of tourists to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. In October

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Aerial view of Gulf Shores golf courses and condos

Cotton Creek Estates is located near the Emerald Greens Golf Course. These are townhome-style condos and amenities here include a clubhouse and outdoor pool. The Gulf Shores Public Beach and the Hangout are about ten minutes way.

Cypress Point is located on the Craft Farms Golf Course just minutes from the Gulf Shores Hangout and public beach access. Craft Farms offers great shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities in one of the most popular golf communities in Baldwin County.

Emerald Greens is a golf course condo complex off of hwy 59 in Northern Gulf Shores, AL.  The condos have a short golf course, sit directly next to Craft Farms and various shopping outlets, theaters, restaurants and other amenities.  The beaches and Gulf Place is

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Aerial view of downtown Gulf Shores ALWell, the gig’s up. Word’s out. We’ve been discovered.
Gulf Shores was just named on Trip.com’s list of the top ten 2017 Rising Star Destinations for the USA. Gulf Shores, Alabama is second only to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Once a hidden gem in the area known as the “Emerald Coast”, Gulf Shores is quickly becoming the hottest beach getaway in the country. Is it really such a surprise, though? Those of us familiar with Gulf Shores know that this place has so much more than meets the eye. I mean, yes, the beaches are spectacular, the water is warm, and the Gulf-front condos here offer first-rate service and amenities, but that’s just barely scratching the surface of all that Gulf Shores has to offer.
First off, the culture. Ever heard the phrase “southern

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On January 9, less than two weeks before he would have to leave office, former President Obama made the decision to make a cut to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance premiums by a quarter of a percent, citing the current financial stability of the insurance fund. The cut would have taken effect on January 27, 2017 and was set to save new homeowners hundreds of dollars every year ($500 on a $200,000 home) and enable thousands of people to buy their first home. Within one hour of his presidential inauguration, President Donald Trump effectively halted these cuts and they are now "suspended indefinitely".

Mortgage rates have been rising lately, with the current rate on a 30-year fixed loan being 4.09% (one year ago it was 3.81%)

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Fort Morgan is an unincorporated community just west of Gulf Shores, Alabama. This area, as we have discussed in another blog post, has a long and rich history as home to Fort Morgan, which served as a defensive point for Mobile Bay starting in the early 19th century. Today, the quiet beaches along the Fort Morgan peninsula serve as a respite from the heavily tourist-filled areas of downtown Gulf Shores. Wildlife preserves and refuges, museums, golf courses, homes, and condominiums can all be found here, but much of the peninsula is protected and, therefore, undeveloped.

Gulf Shores is hugely popular as a vacation destination. For decades, the tourism industry has really kept Gulf Shores alive and, thanks to new developments and plans for major

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New rendering of Gulf Shores' planned mixed-use hotel in downtown

(Photo - City of Gulf Shores)

In early January 2017, the city of Gulf Shores made an exciting announcement about a new development that may be coming to the West Beach area of Gulf Shores. The development team is being led by Ron Durham and architect Mack McKinney and plans include a huge 240-room full service hotel with a spa and meeting facilities on site. The hotel will sit on two acres across the street from the public beach access and the Gulf Shores Hangout. This hotel will be an anchor for a large mixed-use development with retail shops, a restaurant, and a huge third-floor pool deck facing the beach below. The project will cost $80 million, but it can be expected that it will draw in a number of new tourists to the area and help boost the

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Mobile AL Battleship and downtown

Visitors to the Eastern Shore area may have spotted the large battleship sitting on the opposite shore in Mobile, Alabama. The USS Alabama (BB60) is the sixth United States Navy ship to be named after the state of Alabama and it has been operating as a museum in Mobile Bay since 1965. Part of the Battleship Memorial Park, the USS Alabama sits near the submarine USS Drum and a museum with over twenty-five aircraft. There are memorials for the Korean and Vietnam Wars that visitors can view after exploring the USS Alabama.


The USS Alabama was commissioned in 1942 and went on to serve in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters during World War II. In 1945, the USS Alabama was used to transport American servicemen in the Pacific back to the United

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