Local News

Entertainment District Could Bring Millions In Revenue To Halifax County

Posted April 13, 2005 6:40 a.m. EDT

— A family entertainment district proposed for Halifax County could generate thousands of jobs and bring in millions of dollars in revenue.

The Roanoke Rapids entertainment district is expected to create 2,500 jobs, generate $129 million in taxable investment and another $148 million in retail sales.

"Tourism is a beautiful industry," says Lori Medlin, of Halifax Tourism Board. "[Tourists] spend their dollars with you to enjoy your community. And they leave. You don't have to educate their children or take care of their family."

The proposed site is just off Interstate 95 where thousands of cars go by every day.

"North Carolina is a tremendous location," says Rick Watson, a representative for the Northeast Partnership Economic Developer. "It's halfway between New York and Florida, but what it needs is good family home entertainment, and this venue offers just the type of thing."

Once the city's financing plan is approved, construction could begin by June.

That means the Roanoke Rapids entertainment district could start bringing in tourism dollars within a year.

Under the proposal filed with the local government commission, Roanoke Rapids will help build the first music theater and lease it to a country music entertainer.

Some describe the proposed entertainment district as a mini-version of Branson, Mo., a major hub for country singers and tourists. Current plans allow for five music theaters, hotels, restaurants and outlet shops.