A new attraction in historic packaging is “weeks, not months” away from its debut, according to a co-owner and operator. Scott Tindle, of Activation Management, said the transformation of Fort Conde, in downtown, to the Colonial Fort of Mobile is almost complete.
The attraction will feature many activities based on life in a fort and will actually rotate between Spanish, British, French and United States ownership, representing the cultures that influenced Mobile’s history, Tindle said.
The attraction, which will be housed in the city-owned building, is part of an agreement between the management company and the History Museum of Mobile. However, both sides have remained rather tight-lipped about the details of the contract.
Tindle said he wasn’t at liberty to discuss details of the contract. When asked if Activation Management would be paying rent to either the city or the museum, History Museum Board Chairman Greg Reynolds said, “No comment.”
Reynolds did confirm Activation Management would be paying for utilities at the building, while Tindle said the lease included a number of artifacts already on display at the fort.
Reynolds added that the agreement between the two entities was the same duration as the agreement between the city and the museum board, which gave the board autonomy over the museum and the fort, but entitled it to a performance contract from the city each year. As part of the 2016 fiscal year budget, the city gave the museum board just over $1.1 million.
Councilwoman Bess Rich said she believes the contract is good for five years and also confirmed the management company would be paying for utilities.
As a result of the contract, the city’s welcome center, which had been located inside Fort Conde, was moved inside the history museum. The new location opened Feb. 10.
The finished attraction will include a “shooting gallery” with pirates as targets. The attraction will include an escape room and a photo booth to allow visitors to put on colonial dress, Tindle said. The fort will also include a café, where the menu will change quarterly based upon which country has control of the fort.
Activation Management will charge admission, Tindle said, commenting that Fort Conde charged admission when it first opened. The admission will be $8 for adults and $5 for kids, in line with what was charged originally.
“If we were starting from scratch and it had never been open to the public, the price would be $14,” he said.
Reynolds, who said the history museum did not invest in the new attraction, said he views the agreement as a positive move for the fort.
“This really is a positive thing,” Reynolds said. “I believe, from what I’ve seen, they are definitely spending some money and making some pretty substantial improvements.”