Atmore, whole new city?

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, January 7, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
Last week when I was driving to Birmingham to spend New Year’s Eve with my boyfriend and best friend it got me to thinking about what I had done for the past several New Year’s Eves.
This then led me to thinking about when I went to Chicago my freshman year with that same friend, Carly, and a couple of others along with Carly’s mom, Wendy.
Carly and I have been friends since third grade, and for just as long, Wendy has been taking me on trips with she and Carly.
These have run from the normal trips to Ft. Walton and Gatlinburg to the little more extravagant trips to Chicago.
Chicago has got to be one of my favorite places I have been. I love the city and the glamour it holds.
I was again reminded of this big city glamour on Monday when I was touring the new Wind Creek Casino and Hotel.
The facility is incredible. Walking with Shelly Williams from the Chamber, she turned and said, “ I can’t believe I’m in Atmore.”
I couldn’t have agreed more. All throughout its construction, I have kept hearing phrases like “Las Vegas style” and references to it being just as good or better than the casinos in Mississippi, and they were dead on.
It truly is like another world. From the gaming floor to the restaurants and meeting facilities, it is obvious there was no expense spared.
I can only imagine what it will be like when the lake and pool area are added. It will truly be a resort experience.
Not to say that I doubted what the Poarch Creek Indians were billing it as, but imagining a resort destination in Atmore was hard to fathom until I saw it coming together.
Now with the casino built and Rivercane making headway, I can still only imagine the growth Atmore is going to experience in the coming years.
When I was growing up in Trussville, it was about like Atmore is now, everybody knew everybody and there wasn’t a Wal-Mart for miles.
Now it is, to say the least, bustling, with not only a Wal-Mart but also a Target, shopping mall and movie theatre. Like Atmore, we were the big fish in a small pond and our new developments encouraged growth in our neighboring communities, something I see likely happen to our neighbors as well.
When Keith Martin, chairman of the PCI Gaming Board, was speaking at Monday’s event, he too mentioned the economic impact the casino will have on the community, but also what he hopes will be an educational and community impact, bettering all aspects of the city.
I highly recommend going out to the casino and seeing this thing that is going to transform our small town. Give it a look around and definitely taste some of the food.
You always hear about people taking vacations in their own cities, well there’s no better time than now to do it, well unless you’re waiting for the pool this summer.
MaryClaire Foster is news editor for the Atmore Advance. She can be reached at 368-2123 or via email at

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