As part of our mission, the Decatur-Morgan County Hospitality Association has financially supported several area community projects, designed to encourage greater tourism in Decatur and Morgan County. These projects have not only helped bring more people to the Decatur-Morgan County area, but have also helped increase revenue for the city and county’s hotels, restaurants, attractions, and merchants.
Tourism Product Development
In 2001, the Hospitality Association voted to self-impose a $1.50 room occupancy tax, the proceeds of which would be used for tourism product development. This amount increased to $2.00 in 2007. As of December, 2012, the amount collected from this tax exceeded $4.5 million. These funds were used to develop:
- Ingalls Harbor
Ingalls Harbor has quickly become one of the best bass fishing spots in the nation, attracting many nationally-acclaimed sport fishing tournaments each year. Since the first phase of Ingalls Harbor was completed, the park has brought in over $1 million into the local economy. Phase 2 of the Ingalls Harbor project is currently underway and is funded in part by the self-imposed room occupancy tax.
A campaign to complete Ingalls Harbor began in early 2010. The last phase of the park includes adding large pavilion with a capacity of 750 persons, smaller pavilions, a river-heritage museum, more docks, and a lighthouse building. The plans for the final phase also include landscaping and parking improvements. View the plan for the last phase of Ingalls Harbor.
- City Signage Projects
Two Morgan County communities - Hartselle and Somerville - received funding for new wayfinding signage. Hartselle's signage will direct visitors to the downtown area and tourism attractions. The Somerville signage will direct visitors to the town's historic courthouse.
- New Press Box at Jack Allen Recreation Complex
The Jack Allen Recreation Complex has helped bring many soccer tournaments to Decatur. With the addition of a new press box, the complex is expected to be able to attract even more and better tournaments. The Decatur-Morgan Hospitality Association helped provide the new press box for the complex.
- Hospitality Nature Park upgrades
In 2005, The Decatur-Morgan County Hospitality Association contributed $300,000 for renovations to the former Day Park, located on the northeast entrance to Decatur. The park, now named Hospitality Nature Park in honor of the association, has been turned into a family-friendly park space with beautiful landscaping, new fishing amenities, nature trails, and a two-story birding kiosk. Future upgrades to the park are expected to include installing lights, a restroom facility, picnic pavilions, a fish cleaning station, and the creation of more nature trails.