Tourism on the rise in the Shoals

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 10:00 PM CDT
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THE SHOALS, Ala. (WAFF) - As restrictions are lessening, tourism in the Shoals is increasing.

One may say that’s a miracle. It’s something that Sue Pilkiton has been waiting for.

“It certainly is a miracle,” said Pilkiton.

The Miracle Worker is a play that has been put on at Ivy Green every summer for the past 60 years. Because of COVID-19, the seating crowd and performance dates were cut in half in 2020.

But not this year.

“Our attendance is probably 90 to 95 percent of people traveling from away from the Shoals area,” said Pilkiton.

Tourists are back, like the Minakata family from Indiana.

“Life felt back to normal,” said Hector Minakata.

When it comes to tourism in the Shoals, sometimes you just have to follow the music. Tourism at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and The Muscle Shoals Sound has also increased.

“This is amazing. You know, the history of music here, I knew there was history here. I didn’t know there was that much,” said Minakata.

The director of Alabama Music Hall of Fame said in the month of May and June they’ve doubled their gift shop sales.

Muscle Shoals Sound increased their hours because of more people coming through.

Pilkilton said that the boost at Ivey Green in foot traffic is a boost for everyone.

“It’s been a great boost for the economy as far as the Keller home and also the hotels, the restaurants. They all benefit from us having the miracle worker here on the grounds of Ivey green,” said Pilkilton.

Rob Carneige with Florence and Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau said that hotels across the Shoals are also seeing a rise in their numbers.

He said it was well over 74 percent in the month of June.

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