Alabama City to Add RV Hookups at Arena
The city council in Bay Minette, Ala., has approved plans to add 16 recreational vehicle hook-ups to the Carol Hodgson Arena, with an eye toward appealing to a larger crowd of renters for events, the Mobile Press-Register reported.
The city will spend up to $12,000 to outfit the area with water and electrical service along the south fence line and may add additional spots as the demand increases, officials said. A two-day bluegrass festival is planned in October and organizers said the amenities are needed.
"It’s very important to bluegrass festivals. We are gonna have a bigger crowd than most people think that we are gonna have," Junius Long, event organizer, told the council in a work session held prior to the regular meeting. The bluegrass performers and fans travel together to various festivals, oftentimes arriving in RVs, Long said.
Mayor Jamie Tillery said the plan needed approval in order to capitalize on that event.
"This will be something to update the arena and make it more competitive," she said. "Timing is essential on this. To get this project done, we need to make a move on this tonight."
Ronnie McDill, the city’s building and maintenance supervisor, said the hook-up sites can be rented out for RVs or vendors for special events, such as rodeos or festivals. McDill said that the sites could also be utilized during emergency situations to house disaster response workers.
"Eventually I think they will pay for themselves," he said.
The city purchased the 22-acre arena site in 2008 for $500,000. The property included a 67,500-square-foot covered arena and the city later added a concession and bathroom facility and fencing, as well as other upgrades.
McDill said other improvements are also planned at the arena, and additional hook-ups may happen down the road.
The council unanimously supported the expenditure in its regular meeting.
The Baldwin County Bluegrass Festival will be held from 4 to 10 p.m. Oct. 15 and noon to 10 p.m. Oct. 16. Admission is $10 per day with children 12-under admitted free. Among those scheduled to perform includes The Gary Waldrep Band, Golden Valley Crusaders, The Chestangs, The McPherson Family, TruGrass, and The Wayfarers.
The Carol Hodgson Arena isabout two miles southeast of Bay Minette. Since opening, professional and high school rodeos have been held at the arena.