‘Bama Jam’ helps hotels

Published 11:59 pm Thursday, June 4, 2009

There is only 25 miles separating Covington County from the site of the second annual Bama Jam near Enterprise, and local hotels say they are experiencing increased business because of the music event.

An estimated 100,000 people will attend the three-day event that featured Taylor Swift Thursday, followed by Alan Jackson today, and Kid Rock and Brooks and Dunn on Saturday. Organizer Ronnie Gilley spent nearly $6.5 million to produce the event. Attendance last year peaked on Saturday night.

Locally, the three Opp hotels are showing an increase in room bookings, which they attribute directly to the Coffee County music event.

Ashley Anderson at Opp’s Best Western said, for the second time in hotel history, all 43 of their rooms are booked.

“That’s on Thursday,” she said. “As of right now, we’ve got two rooms available for Friday and two for Saturday. To my knowledge, we’ve been booked solid one other time, so this is great.”

Half of the hotel’s occupancy is attributed to U.S. Air Force personnel working on the Florala Lake Project — the other half, Anderson said she felt like were tourists either going to the beach or attending Bama Jam.

“More so I think for Bama Jam,” she said. “I know a lot of people who are going. It sounds like it’s going to be great.”

Suzie Patel, manager of the Travel Inn of Opp, said “a couple” of her guests are Bama Jam goers and the hotel still has rooms available, as is the case at Opp’s Executive Inn.

“If people need a room, we’ve got one,” Patel said.

The concert line-up also includes a liberal amount of rock and alternative music, including the Black Crowes, Los Lonely Boys, Umphrey’s McGee and Drive By Truckers.

According to the Web site, tickets are $76.32 per person per day or $132.52 for a three-day pass. Tickets are also available at Opp’s Speedee Convenience store and Colonial Bank.