A stretch of undeveloped sugar-white sand snakes along Alabama's gulf coast.
Over 10 years ago, Hurricane Ivan knocked down a 1970s-era state park lodge at the site, and Alabama has not had the money to rebuild it— at least not until now.
Alabama is moving forward with plans to use oil spill settlement funds to build a 350-room hotel and conference center that can handle groups of up to 1,500 people.
"I believe we will be open by 2018. The conventions will not be going to Florida. They will be coming to Alabama and I'm very proud of that. It will bring a lot of money into the state and the money that is generated will help support the other parks around the...