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    TIDAL WAVE OF GOOD NEWS: Montgomery Whitewater Breaks Ground
    The ground has officially been broken for Montgomery Whitewater, $50 million world-class outdoor recreation and entertainment district that has been years in the making. The Montgomery County Commission and the Montgomery County Community Cooperative District along with Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed and other local, state and federal leaders celebrated by digging wooden paddles bearing the newly released logo for the project into fresh dirt on the site on June 10. They were joined by a large crowd of community leaders representing the many partners and supporters who have collaborated to make this big dream a reality for the River Region.
    Located at the gateway to Montgomery, Montgomery Whitewater is destined to create a new vibrancy in Montgomery County with a wave of tourism, economic development and enhanced quality of life.
    County, City and State Leaders Weigh In on Whitewater:
    “This is an exciting day for our region! Montgomery Whitewater is the type of forward-thinking, quality-of-life project that will grow our population base and attract new visitors, creating additional revenues and opportunities for new and existing small and minority-owned businesses. The Montgomery County Commission took a chance to invest in this project and more importantly, into Montgomery as a whole. I love my hometown and am thrilled we are providing this for all residents and visitors alike to enjoy. We look forward to it being the destination hotspot and a deciding factor that brings new residents to call Montgomery home.” – Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean
    “Today is a milestone for Montgomery. The Whitewater project can be a catalyst to transform our city and this entire region. We are being intentional in our work to attract new opportunities for growth and investment by marketing areas outside of traditional development zones. Today’s celebration would be impossible without our partners who believed in the potential of this project, and we look forward to bringing even more visitors to Alabama and the River Region.” – Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed
    “As a favorite destination for families and tourists, Montgomery Whitewater will reinforce the fact that the River Region offers a high quality of life while also acting as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth in the area. This is a game-changing project for Montgomery, and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds in the future.” – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey
    “Today is an exciting day as construction begins on Montgomery’s world-class whitewater facility. So many have dreamed big to make today a reality. Our partners were bold enough to trust in an idea that will truly transform Montgomery and will add to Montgomery’s growing legacy as a visitor destination. The elements to be included in this project will provide unmatched recreational and training opportunities for those in our area, but will also attract people from across the United States and the world. Today’s groundbreaking is possible only because of an incredible collection of partners—the Montgomery County Commission, City of Montgomery, State of Alabama, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Montgomery Water Works and Sanitary Sewer Board, Industrial Development Board and the Public Building Authority. Exciting months are ahead as this project now begins the shift from an idea on paper to reality.” – Leslie Sanders, Chair of Montgomery County Community Cooperative District, a local board formed to oversee construction, and Vice President of Alabama Power’s Southern Division.
    Maxwell Selected to Hosts Nation’s First DoDEA Pilot School Program
    Maxwell Elementary Middle School was approved by the Department of Defense Education Activity as the first site for a four-year pilot program to open enrollment to children of full-time, active-duty military living off base. This is an important development in Montgomery’s ongoing commitment to provide support to military families and increase the region’s performance on the Air Force Education Scorecard. “This program expands public education options in the River Region,” said Lt. Gen. James Hecker, Air University Commander and President. “We appreciate the great local community partners and DoDEA collaborations to increase public education options, and we’ll continue to work with them and the team at DoDEA on this important issue.”
    Tourism Campaign Launches
    The Chamber’s destination marketing team is jump-starting MGM’s post-pandemic tourism recovery with a new campaign called “The Journey Starts Here.” It is visible to locals through downtown signage, wayfinding and a new location of the Visitor Center at 1 Court Square, while a targeted advertising and social media campaign invites visitors within a drivable distance to come experience Montgomery in a safe and meaningful way. The new Visitor Center opened July 1 and welcomes visitors from 9:30 - 4:30 Tuesday through Saturday and 11- 3 on Sundays.
    Military Appreciation Days
    In conjunction with the Montgomery Zoo, the Chamber celebrated River Region military families by inviting all active duty and retired military personnel to visit the Zoo for free on Military Appreciation Days on June 15-17. To mark the occasion, Chamber CEO Anna Buckalew was joined by County Commission Vice Chairman Doug Singleton, County Commission Vice Chairman Doug Singleton, Lt. Gen. James Hecker, Col. Eries Mentzer and Major Gen. Sheryl Gordon to welcome families and take note of significant community efforts to improve the quality of life for Central Alabama’s military families.
    TechMGM Hosts Hoover Institution Fellows
    Montgomery hosted Fellows from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution on April 25 as part of the Alabama Innovation Commission’s partnership with the Hoover Institution to promote innovation and economic growth in Alabama. As part of the Fellows’ tour to TechMGM coordinated an experience showcasing Montgomery’s tech and innovation community, in-demand tourism assets and forward-thinking projects like Montgomery Whitewater. An interactive luncheon with a group of the city’s young elected leaders, developers, investors and entrepreneurs concluded the tour.
    River Region’s Newest Congressman Speaks at Washington Brief
    On June 2, a sold-out crowd heard from the district’s newest Congressman, Barry Moore, at the Chamber’s Washington Brief Event. Moore reflected on his record of working across the aisle in the Alabama state legislature to support military families, recruit the F35, as well as the expansion of rural broadband. Moore also shared insights from his recent visits to the U.S.-Mexico border and responded to questions from the audience.
    MPS to Come Out of Intervention in December
    In mid-June, the State Board of Education unanimously voted to remove the Montgomery Public School System from intervention on December 1, demonstrating a vote of confidence in the improvements the system has made since February of 2017. Since that time, marked improvements have been made, particularly in the financial state of the system, as well as in student academic performance, which remains a top priority. The system must maintain a one-and-a-half-month balance in reserve, which is more than the state requires of all other systems.
    In a report by the Montgomery Advertiser, Clare Weil, President of the Montgomery Public Schools Board, said after the meeting: “The unanimous vote is, to me, a vote for Montgomery, Montgomery schools and Montgomery children. We’re on a really good trajectory right now to make Montgomery a good school system, and today’s vote was very affirming.”
    Leadership of the Montgomery business community remains committed to the continued improvement of MPS and the creation of a brighter, more prosperous future for Montgomery’s students and families.
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  • Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
    600 S. Court St, P.O. Box 79
    Montgomery, Alabama 36101
    Tel: 334.834.5200   Fax: 334.265.4745

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