HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — Courtney Hicks is the general manager of the Hampton Inn in Pelham that borders the Oak Mountain Amphitheater. 

And with all the talk of dark days ahead for the venue, he’s preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

“We are preparing because we never know what might happen,” Hicks said. “It will be a loss but we’ll survive but we want to keep the concert crowd, it’s just really important to Pelham.”

The news of the Star Amphitheater at Uptown in Birmingham casts serious doubt on the future of the Oak Mountain Amphitheater. But the city of Pelham only needs to look up I-65 to find an example of a city turning bad news into a new opportunity.

When the news broke in 2010 that the Barons were leaving Hoover for Birmingham, it was shocking for those in the city. But today, this area is a shining example of how it is possible to make lemonade out of some very sour lemons.

Tony Petelos feels the pain of Pelham. He was mayor of Hoover back in 2013 when the city lost the Barons to Birmingham.

”I knew there was some discussion  going on but nobody officially came to me to tell me what was happening,” Petelos said. “So, I’m driving in my car and I hear it on the radio that the Baron’s have decided to move to Birmingham.”

And once the shock wore off, Petelos and the city turned their attention to what to do next.

“Once that decision is made there’s not much you can do,” he said. “You can cry wolf, you can complain, you can’t undo it. The way I do business is I accept what happens and move on.”

Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato took office in 2016 and has led the continued resurgence of the area surrounding the Met. A reminder that it’s less about the bad news you get and more about how you respond.

“Vision is real easy, paying for it is what’s difficult,” he said. “You need to understand what you can do and so well and that whatever you do, you do it well.”

Brocato and Petelos said the city of Hoover continuing to host the SEC Baseball Tournament has been a huge boost for the city. 

Ainsley Allison, communications manager for the city of Pelham, did not have anything to add when reached for comment.