OWA impacting economy only two weeks after opening
FOLEY, Ala. (WPMI) —
It has been two weeks since the opening of the highly anticipated OWA amusement park in Foley.
One month ago, the OWA amusement was under construction and rides stood empty.
Now, OWA's rides have thrill-seekers and families coming back time and time again.
And the surrounding area is seeing the impact too.
Sam and Hilary Nunnery are the owners of The Forge Pizzeria which is located just across the road from OWA.
They say in the nearly two weeks OWA has been open, the number of visitors has increased.
"People come over here during breaks, or when they're tired, they come over here and eat. They don't have restaurants open over there yet. So they come here, eat and go enjoy the rest of their day," said Sam Nunnery.
"We've seen a lot more families with kids we didn't have before and hopefully that'll continue," Hilary Nunnery said.
OWA's opening drew huge crowds and everyone in attendance was eager to get in on all of the action.
Other than brief confusion and controversy involving the wording of the park's safety regulations, things have gone smoothly.
Foley Mayor John Koniar says other than someone being kicked off the property, there's been next to no crime at OWA.
But there's still room for improvement on traffic issues and infrastructure in the area.
"They're good problems to have. They've done it right so they have lots of people working there. They've hired 300 or 400 people and soon, eventually it will be up to a thousand," said Mayor Koniar.
The Nunnery's, who opened their own business only six months ago, believe the future is bright for OWA and those nearby.
"They just opened so they're still trying to figure out everything over there. The circle of people that know that OWA is there will continue to get bigger and bigger," Sam Nunnery said.
LOCAL15 reached out to OWA officials about attendance numbers but were told those are not being released at this time.
However, officials said that announcements are planned for mid-August.8