Depending on who you ask, the mega-prison that is slated for construction just outside of the city limits could bring many things to the Tallassee area. According to Mayor Johnny Hammock, one of the first things it may attract is expanded lodging options in the area.
According to Hammock, the Cobblestone Inn Franchise is looking into locating in the Tallassee community.
City officials have been working with a retail group that not only conducts research like gap studies and feasibility studies but also promotes the cities it represents.
"We have been working with Retail Strategies out of Birmingham," Hammock said. "We have been working with them for a little over a year now. They have been helping us try to attract retail, restaurants, hotels."
With nearby attractions like Monster Mountain and youth sporting events drawing hundreds of people to the area already, a 2018 hotel feasibility study showed a hotel near the interstate would be a draw to the area.
"I have already met with one of the owners of Cobblestone Inn," Hammock said. "He loves Tallassee, so Retail Strategies is coming back pretty soon and we are going to be talking with them to try to find a place for this hotel to go."
Based out of Neenah, Wisconsin, Cobblestone Hotels is a chain of hotels located throughout the United States. Their brands include Cobblestone Hotel & Suites, Cobblestone Inn & Suites, Boarders Inn & Suites, Centerstone Hotels, and KeyWest Hotels.
Hammock is hopeful with the help of Retail Strategies, a new hotel will soon offer expanded lodging options to those visiting the area.
"Hopefully everything works out. There are a lot of different factors at play here, but we are working on it and hopefully, something will come out of it," he said.
According to Hammock, the recent announcement a site on Rifle Range Road, just outside the city limits, is slated to be the location of a state-operated mega-prison may have increased the franchise's interest in the Tallassee area.
"I think with the new prison coming to Tallassee, that really sparked the interest in this hotel. They are trying to get into Alabama," Hammock said. "They already liked Tallassee and they already had us on their radar but after the prison announcement, we kind of jumped to the top of their list."