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It's being called the rebirth of Joe Wheeler State Park. The state showed off all the improvements on Wednesday, after a nearly $1 million renovation.
State officials cut the ribbon at Joe Wheeler State Park to highlight their newly-renovated rooms, cottages, new landscaping at the golf course and upgraded gas pumps at the marina.
"We've done some renovations on the rooms and other work within the park," said Chris Blankenship, the deputy commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. "As the parks are doing well, we're taking the money and putting it right back into the park."
This project was a long time coming. Back in 2016, Joe Wheeler State Park was in danger of closing. That same year, Alabama voters passed Amendment Two, which kept state park money within the state parks. Prior to that, lawmakers had been moving the funds for other uses.
"That's been very beneficial. That way, as we do make profit and are successful in the hospitality side of it, we know that that money will stay with the parks and we can contract and do some of these things needed to upgrade our facilities," said Blankenship.
Tommy Phillips frequents Joe Wheeler State Park and said it's exciting to see all the positive changes.
"The way the economy is, it's really a good investment I think," said Phillips.
State park officials said in late fall, they will start to renovate the campground area of the park.