TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A major announcement was made this week in Tuscaloosa. Sports Illustrated and Travel + Leisure are building the first ever Sports Illustrated college town resort.  

Tuscaloosa City Councilman Norman Crow said it will be a game changer.

“You’ve got the iconic brand of Sports Illustrated and Travel + Leisure combining to build a hotel and have condominiums and to have retail development on the river,” Crow said. “I think this will be a destination place.”

The venue will include a full-service hotel, condos, a wellness center and restaurants. The location where the resort will be built is on Rice Mine Road near the Black Warrior River.  

Tuscaloosa resident Sandra Tanis lives near the location and is excited about the project but also has concerns about too much traffic.

“I think it will be good for City of Tuscaloosa and bring lots of revenue and lots of extra people coming in,” Tanis said. “But living where I live, the only downfall I see is the extra traffic that comes around that curve.”

Crow said this will make Tuscaloosa an even better destination city and will be great for the economy.

“We are a great town, and we are so grateful for the University of Alabama, and it’s so great that we can welcome Sports Illustrated and Travel + Leisure to town,” Crow said.

The resort venue is expected to open in late 2025.