New Lanett Welcome Center shows economic growth in Alabama

LANETT, Ala. (WTVM) – Alabama opened a brand new visitor center Friday morning, Jan. 14, on I-85. Projects like this have been on the back burner for decades, but Alabama’s growing economy has helped bring this project to life.

16,000 square feet. State of the art. The new Alabama Welcome Center is the new gateway to the state for those coming from Georgia on Interstate 85.

“Here at Sweet Home Alabama, we pride ourselves on our southern hospitality,” said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey.

The bricks, sidewalks and turf show much more than a welcome center – it’s a sign of major economic progress in Alabama.

Over the past 10 years, Alabama has been able to resolve a number of financial issues.

“Well, our economy is certainly strong…and growing,” Governor Ivey said.

The old reception center was not very welcoming – not a facility the state was proud of…

“This is now the model for what’s going to happen statewide,” said Alabama tourism director Lee Sentell.

But now the new facility, like Alabama’s economy, points to a new era for the state.

“It has to be first class, and I believe it is,” Governor Ivey said.

The project lasted two years. Funding came from both the state and the federal government.

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