ORANGE BEACH, ALA SUMMER 2017 – DEC 19 2019
On the edge of Alabama’s Gulf Coast Intercoastal Waterway (canal) constructed right next to the Beach Express bridge and toll stands the incomplete Bama Bayou water resort project, first conceived in 2002. It sits directly across the canal from the Wharf condominium, marina and shopping center, and is easily the largest incomplete/abandoned site in the area. I grew up taking the Beach Express bridge over the canal, seeing the status of this property’s early construction and ten year vacancy regularly. Over the years it was referred to as the “swim with the dolphins” resort. I visited the property at least eight times beginning May 11, 2017 and concluding September 7. Although it’s visible to hundreds of thousands of toll-paying beachgoers each year, unfortunately there is almost no existing photos from the inside on the internet. The only building with a partially completed interior is the one-story office building near the entrance and parking lot. It was pretty trashed.
The warehouse structure, two story office building, hotel and aquarium facility were also accessible. There was another large cleared area of dirt to the east of the property where a lot of large concrete piping was being stored. Whenever we visited the complex for the final time on September 7th we climbed on top of the concrete coliseum style seating and were seen from the toll bridge. After a few minutes we saw three Orange Beach Police Department patrol cars come over the bridge with their lights on. They apprehended us and escorted us off the property but we weren’t prosecuted.
Shot on iPhone
That was the last time I went inside the property although I managed to get a couple photos yesterday and it doesn’t look like much has changed. After rumors of demolition from the city a company out of Texas bought the company in 2018 supposedly to have it opening by 2020. I’m doubtful that this is still the case. Today, December 19, 2019 I went back by the abandoned resort with my Canon EOS M100 since I’m in town. I was able to get some pretty good shots of the exterior from the adjacent road. If anything, condition has only slightly worsened since we last visited. The biggest exterior difference I noticed is that, if you look above at the photo of the hotel from the coliseum with all of the windows basically intact, some of the top ones have now been shattered as you can see below.
Shot on Canon EOS M100, 55-200mm