CULLMAN – Recently, Cullman’s Top of the Town played host to the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Dinner and toasted to the fact that Cullman is the designated spot where the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame and a new adjacent civic center complex will be constructed sometime next year.
Some people might simply think this physical project is only about the sport of fishing, but it means so much more for our tiny little town in terms of growth, tourism and job placement.
To put it in terms of the Hall of Fame Board Director Sammy Lee: “Cullman is on the Launchpad and the countdown has begun.”
Lee expressed volumes of excitement when giving his address to the event’s attendees and more so in our exclusive interview saying, “You’re going to see hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of new tourists stop here and make this the destination location in their travels and vacations.”
Along with an increase in tourism, Lee expects our town will see a growth spurt in both the economic impact that it brings and the millions of dollars in new tax revenue, in the construction that it creates, and in the permanent jobs that new businesses will create when they come here.
With the construction of the Hall of Fame and the civic center complex, not only will the sport of fishing and its hall-of-famers have a home in which to commemorate and thrive, but the arena itself can also doubly function as the hosting ground for any number of conventions, boat shows, exhibits, fishing tournament weigh-ins and any number of other special events.
Additionally, a research center will be installed and Auburn University will utilize this resource to their advantage, with the notion of continuing to further AU’s innovative findings in their respective program studies.
Lee said, “Between the Hall of Fame and the Civic Center, you’ve got almost 100,000 square feet. You will start seeing a new interest in this community because of everything that will be offered thanks to these facilities.”
The Hall of Fame and the civic center complex will be located on County Road 222, with a future interchange being constructed at the edge of Co. Rd. 222 and I-65.
Good Hope Mayor Corey Harbison voiced his affirmation and appreciation for the project saying, “Once the interchange is completed, anyone that gets off to go to the Hall of Fame will have to come through Good Hope. So we hope to see some development inside our city. We’re hoping some nice hotels, different options for food and more retail stores will come here. It’s just going to be a boom for the whole county.”
It seems our tiny town has much to gain from this incredibly large investment. What exactly attracted the HOF’s board of directors to choose Cullman, AL out of any other location?
“I have to tell you, I have personally looked at potential sites in 11 states and probably 50 different communities over the last dozen years and nothing came close to Cullman. Not only for the location adjacent to I-65, but more importantly, the people,” Lee passionately stated. “What a wonderful community. Not only progressive in their forward thinking ways with the educational system and the parks and recreations, but what a clean, neat town. This is a wonderful place to raise your family. If you’re looking for a great all-American city – and we were – Cullman, AL is it.”