Baldwin County is the largest county in Alabama by area and is on the eastern side of Mobile Bay.
Baldwin County was founded Dec. 21, 1809. Previously, the county had been a part of the Mississippi Territory until 1817, when the area was included in the separate Alabama Territory. Statehood was gained by Alabama in 1819.
Foley was named for its founder, John B. Foley. Mr. Foley bought land in the area and was influential in getting a railway system through the town.
The City of Foley hosts Heritage Harbor Days every year to celebrate its history. The Foley Downtown Historic District also is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Foley is home to one of the largest outlet malls in the state of Alabama, Tanger Outlets. The city has major highways and a connection to Interstate 10. U.S. Highway 98 runs east and west, and State Highway 59 runs north and south.
How OWA will enhance the area’s
small-town culture with a big-city feel
Proving the existing tourism market was viable for OWA was very easy. Numbers don’t lie. In the past year alone, Foley/Gulf Shores visitor spending reached $3.5 billion. Multiple feasibility studies show the average visitor to the area has a high income and will spend accordingly.
However, even though tourism numbers continue to grow exponentially, the retail, dining and entertainment (RDE) opportunities for this region has not. The Foley/Gulf Shores area currently doesn’t have affordable family entertainment compared to similar destinations, such as Pigeon Forge, Tenn.; Destin, Fla.; and Myrtle Beach, S.C.
To increase viability, the State of Alabama has provided funds for constructing roadways and widening existing ones for traffic to flow effortlessly. Foley Beach Expressway was completed as part of phase 1. It was expected the roadway would carry 8,000 to 9,000 cars per day, but current estimates show traffic is already reaching 12,000 cars per day.
“Although the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast beaches provide opportunities for relaxation and fun, we feel there is still a huge need for a family-friendly destination,” said James T. Martin, President/CEO of Creek Indian Enterprises Development Authority.
“We see the addition of this world class destination to South Baldwin County as a catalyst for the economy through generation of significant lodging and retail sales tax for the City of Foley, Baldwin County and the State of Alabama.
“Hundreds of new jobs to be created, from entry to executive level, during construction through completion of this new development.”
Southern charm … with you in mind
OWA represents the best of old-time southern vacationing with the amenities today’s family seeks. Thrill-seekers, fashionistas, foodies, music lovers, and sports fans will want to return time after time.
The name OWA is also a nod to its roots with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. OWA, pronounced oh-wah, is a word derived from the Muscogee Creek language meaning “big water”. With a 14-acre lake centered on the property, it seemed only fitting to name the newest family-friendly resort in south Alabama, OWA.
OWA is your southern destination, reinvented.