[ Foley, ALABAMA ]
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians plan to create a new 520-acre entertainment complex in the city of Foley to include a themed amusement park, a 150-room Marriott Town Place Suites hotel, and numerous shops and restaurants. The development is named, “Owa,” which in Muscogee Creek language means “big water.”
Future phases may include a waterpark, recreational vehicle (RV) park, residential condominiums, and additional hotels. At build-out, total investment in the development will exceed $500 million.
According to a tribal press release, the Owa development is adjacent to the City of Foley’s $40 million sports tourism complex which features 16 state-of-the-art outdoor fields and a 90,000 square foot indoor events center that is slated to open in the summer of 2017. The two projects are intended to provide a seamless experience for “sport families” who travel to the area specifically for tournaments, but who will avail themselves of opportunities offered by Owa to entertain the entire family.
The Owa project, located just off the Foley Beach Express and County Road 20, is just 9 miles from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. While that area of the State already hosts 6.2 million each year, Owa is expected to bring in an additional 1 million visitors annually.
The sovereign nation of Poarch Band of Creek Indians are the only federally-recognized Native American tribe located in Alabama. According to the tribe’s website, the Poarch Creek Indians are descendants of a segment of the original Creek Nation that once occupied most of Alabama and Georgia.
The Poarch Creek have extensive business interests in Alabama, including the Wind Creek Hospitality resorts, other hotels, and a racetrack, among other investments and operating enterprises.
The master plan for the area development is included below.