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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
New Western-style City under constr. in GA

Old West-themed site aims to be motorcyclists' paradise
By Wayne Crenshaw

Danny Gilleland, The Telegraph
Wayne Smith stands on the wooden sidewalk outside the Iron Angel Saloon on Monday in Dooly County's, Angel City – a Western-style town.

UNADILLA - Wayne Smith traveled around the country showing his custom motorcycle at bike rallies, but he always thought there was a better way for the two-wheeled type to gather.

Generally, when thousands of bikers get together, it's either in a city like Daytona Beach, Fla., where they have to battle traffic, or off in some country field where facilities are lacking.

That's how Smith got the idea for Angel City, a sprawling, Old West-themed complex where bikers can gather and cruise without a soccer mom's sport utility vehicle in sight.

Smith and his business partner, Marvin Jones, unveiled their $1 million vision-turned-reality in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, with about 100 supporters attending. The site is located just off Interstate 75 at exit 122 in Dooly County.

Smith said he's never been to a bike rally at any place like it.

"This is the first in the country," he said. "Nobody has done anything like this."

The inaugural event, called the Iron Angels Motorcycle Rally, begins Thursday and runs through April 23. The talk at the ribbon-cutting ceremony was that as many as 15,000 bikers might show. The population of Dooly County is listed at 10,600.

Smith hopes to have an event of some kind there once per month, though it might not be that frequent this year. Angel City, which was annexed into the Unadilla city limits, will be open only when there is an event.

The complex has 62 vending stalls, plus four restaurants with saloon-style doors. Alcohol will be served.

Angel City includes four sections built in the style of an Old West town out of cypress wood. The roofs are made from tin taken off old barns and sheds. The entire complex totals 20,000 square feet, and it has an amphitheater with enough space to stage major concerts.

The complex isn't exactly authentic in its Old West theme. Paved paths run among sodded grass where a dirt street would be in a real cowboy town. Jones said he had suggested having a dirt street, but bikers wanted pavement for better cruising.

Smith and Jones both live within a mile of the place, located in a secluded area at the end of a dirt road.

Jones said he got interested in the project after hearing that Smith was looking at locations in other counties. Jones owned 400 acres right off Interstate 75 and thought that would an ideal location.

The two formed a partnership and began building in August on Jones' land. Construction workers were putting a few finishing touches on the complex this week.

Jones, a retired farmer and lifelong Dooly County resident, said his interest was fueled by a belief that the venture could help the economically struggling community.

"We are hoping this is going to change things around," Jones said. "If we can get people stopping here and spending money, it's going to help everybody."

Part of Jones' contribution to the construction project was a 37-foot propane tank that he fashioned into the mother of all barbecue grills.

More than one person has compared Angel City to the Big Pig Jig site just down the interstate in Vienna. The barbecue contest draws more than 20,000 people over two days each October. Many believe Angel City can draw similar crowds, but once a month instead of once a year.

"I think it will really boost the economy in this county," said Unadilla Mayor Sidney Hughes. "We need an economic boost."

Though the complex was built with bikers in mind, Smith said, it can be used for a wide variety of gatherings. For example, plans are under way for a bluegrass festival on the Fourth of July weekend. Smith said it could even be used for gospel sings.

For bike rallies and other events where alcohol is served, he pointed out, no one under 21 will be allowed in.

Angel City is named after the Iron Angel girls - bikini models who pose with custom bikes for an annual calendar. Smith, who is an investor in the Iron Angel calendar, said Angel City will be the official home of the Iron Angels, who, incidentally, are the star attraction of next weekend's biker event.

The best thing about Angel City, Smith said, is that everything bikers need for an extended party will be available.

"We are completely self contained," he said. "When they come here they don't have any reason to leave here."

5,428 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It will be the new Sturgis of the south and biker companies will support it. There will be venders and in the biker off season it will be open to community events , antique shows, etc.
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