$2.5M Inland travel center coming to Opp, Ala.

Published 8:11 am Friday, October 5, 2012


Andalusia (Ala.) Star-News

A $2.5-million travel center was announced Thursday, bringing with it 30 jobs and an estimated $50,000 to $80,000 sales tax revenue yearly for the city of Opp, Ala.

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Officials from the city of Opp and the Covington County (Ala.) Economic Development Commission along with Southwest Georgia Oil Co., announced the project, which will be constructed on a 2.5-acre lot at the intersection of U.S. Highways 84 and 331.

Company Vice President Aaron Goodman said his company has been in business in Bainbridge for the past 50 years, and purchased the Big/Little Stores about five years ago. The stores are now called Inland.

Covington County Economic Development President Rick Clifton contacted Goodman about two weeks ago and the rest is history.

Goodman said his company was in the market to build its next store, which will bring the total to 26 stores in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Goodman said when he was contacted by Clifton he was actually en route to Biloxi, Miss., and met Clifton at the future site.

“I looked at the site for about three minutes and said, ‘It’s a done deal,’” he said. “I’ve been in business for 25 years, and I’ve never been embraced anywhere like I have been in Opp.”

Goodman said the travel center will consist of a gas station with gasoline and diesel lanes and will include two restaurants.

Opp Mayor H.D. Edgar called the announcement “a really good day for Opp.”

“We’ve been looking for this for years,” he said. “We actually had two interested, but we picked the one that was ready to put the shovel in the ground.”