People march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the Children's Sojourn on Friday, March 6, 2009, in Selma, Ala. Children from all over Alabama's Black Belt participated in the sojourn to commemorate Bloody Sunday 1965. The sojourn was part of Selma's Bridge Crossing Jubilee celebration this weekend. -- File photo

Jubilee means better economy in Selma

Published 11:28pm Thursday, February 10, 2011

With the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee just a few weeks away, local businesses, hotels and restaurants are gearing up for one of the biggest events of the year.

An estimated 25,000 people attend Jubilee annually and local organizers expect even more for this year’s event.

Candace Johnson, tourism director for the city of Selma, said the Jubilee is a way for tourists to experience the rich history of Selma for themselves.

“This event is our biggest draw annually,” Johnson said. “There’s an increase in lodging, traffic and tourism. For five days visitors can explore the city’s hidden gems and experience the atmosphere of the entire movement.”

According to lodging numbers published by the Alabama Tourism Department, Dallas County has seen an increase in lodging tax revenue over last year and March is one of the county’s biggest months of the year.

Already, area hotels like the Ramada Inn, Hampton Inn and the St. James Hotel are at full capacity and have been since late last year.

“This time is really good for us financially,” said Rufus Ford, general manager of Hampton Inn. “We’ve been booked since last year’s Jubilee. We have an increase in people staying in hotels and I think business in Selma is getting a lot better.”

Lula Wood, assistant manager at Ramada Inn agrees and said all 160 rooms are filled.

“As soon as the dates for the Jubilee are publicized, people start reserving rooms ahead of time, like six months in advance,” Wood said. “As soon as the Jubilee is over, we prepare for next year’s event.”

Michelle Pullom, St. James assistant general manager, said the hotel and its restaurant and bar’s normal operating hours is subject to change during Jubilee weekend.

“We will open on Friday and Saturday,” Pullom said. “And, the Troup House Restaurant will open later hours. We just want to accommodate our guests who want to stay out late and participate in activities.”

Richard’s Café and Major Grumbles Alley are two restaurants making accommodations for the pubic during Jubilee.

Gwendolyn Sanders, chef for Richard’s, said business increases during that weekend.

“We made about $2,500 a day last year, and we hope to be just as busy this year.” Sanders said.

For more information and schedule of events contact the organization representatives with the Bridge Crossing Jubilee at 526-2626.

  • icedoutcutie

    @bama22: As long as there are people with your mind set on the face of the earth, there will be race problems. I bet you call yourself a Christian. Question, what would JESUS do?

  • D-Man

    selma needs every tourism dollar it can get.

    like i said before, keep it organized, clean and safe and bring the people here.

    but more importantly, a goal worth working towards, bring them here and show them that we all love selma very much…

  • Mr.DD

    BAMA22, THIS COMMENTARY REALLY SHOWS THAT YOU ARE OFF YOUR MEDICATION

    • lolcats

      STJ.com needs a “like” button :)

  • bama22

    That’s right, keep on marching. Selma will continue to sink to the bottom as long as this kind of History is displayed. Those who continue to stir the pot, will cause this country to fall in the end. Race is and always will be a major problem for this city and this country. Until this kind of bigotry stops completely which probably never will, Selma and other parts of the United States will be nothing more than a Banana Republic. It’s a fact that other countries despise our teachings, but love to use the race factor. Hum, I wonder who started the (RACE FACTOR), maybe (MLK), good possibility. It’s taught in our school’s, college’s, and in some place’s of worship. It’s also in the workplace as well and in some cases are used against those whom excells. Discrimation is the most discusting word ever put in the English Dictionary and we have our Federal Government to thank for it, oh and MLK because that’s where it began. Ha, Selma was made the Step Child because of the Famous March. I wonder would Selma be the Step Child if it were conducted somewhere else! I guess we might know more in about 25 years when they open the SECRET FILES of MLK.

    • lolcats

      Your “Rant” lacks sensible direction..

      “Selma will continue to sink to the bottom as long as this kind of History is displayed.”
      Did you read the article? It is clearly about the economic BENEFITS of the bridge crossing Jubilee, and also illustrates the boost in business that is recieved over the weekend..

      “Until this kind of bigotry stops completely…”
      What? WTF? What kind of “bigotry” are you speaking of?

      “Selma and other parts of the United States will be nothing more than a Banana Republic.”
      I’m pretty sure you don’t even know the definition of “Banana Republic”, your using it wrong…

      “It’s a fact that other countries despise our teachings”
      Really? What teachings are you talking about? WTF?

      “Hum, I wonder who started the (RACE FACTOR)”
      Please Define “RACE FACTOR”…. PLEASE! I really want to know what this is…

      “It’s taught in our school’s, college’s, and in some place’s of worship.”
      Again I have never been “taught” the “RACE FACTOR”

      “Discrimation is the most discusting word ever put in the English Dictionary and we have our Federal Government to thank for it, oh and MLK because that’s where it began.”
      So without that “word” the world would be a better place? I don’t think so.. The word itself is not disgusting, however I will agree that the ACT of DISCRIMINATION is Horrible and yes the Fed Gov has Culpability in propagating Discrimination… on the other hand if you had ever studied MLK and his teachings you would clearly see that he sought to END Discrimination he is NOT the beginning of it as your statement suggests..

      “Ha, Selma was made the Step Child because of the Famous March.”
      The “step child” of What? this doesn’t make any sense..

      “I guess we might know more in about 25 years when they open the SECRET FILES of MLK.”
      Did you eat paint chips as a child? <serious question..

  • lolcats

    “The sojourn was part of Selma’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee celebration this weekend. — File photo” & Caption?

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