The West Alabama trade area is comprised of seven counties. These counties include Bibb County, Fayette County, Greene County, Hale County, Lamar County, Pickens County and Tuscaloosa County. Tuscaloosa County is the most densely populated of the seven, with an estimated population of 178,404 in 2008. The entire West Alabama trade area has a 2008 estimated population of 280,012.
West Alabama Trade Area
Source: US Census Bureau, Experian/Applied Geographic Solutions
Source: Demographic Data Copyright by Experion/Applied Geographic Solutions
The West Alabama area is 50 miles southwest of Birmingham and 95 miles northwest of Montgomery. Atlanta, Memphis, and Nashville are within 200 miles of the area and New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are within 300 miles. Other major markets such as Lexington, Ky., Charlotte, N.C., Jacksonville, Fla., and Greenville, S.C. are within a 400-mile radius. This strategic location provides West Alabama businesses with access to numerous major markets.
The geography of West Alabama is very diverse. The area is located where the Appalachian Mountains meet the coastal plain and the Black Warrior River. Hills and mountains cover the northern portion of the six county area, while the southern portion is flat and fertile land. Lakes and rivers are abundant throughout the region.
The West Alabama trade area is serviced by Interstates 59/20 and 359, as well as U.S. Highways 82, 43, and 11, State Highways 69, 215, and 171.
The Tuscaloosa Municipal Airport offers limited air service on a 6,500 foot lighted jet runway, while Birmingham International Airport is only one hour north on I-59/20. Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern offer railroad freight service to the West Alabama. Passenger service is offered by Amtrack with routes to New York and New Orleans. The Black Warrior River is a federally maintained river and allows barge service to the Port of Mobile, via the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Over 18 motor freight companies also service the area.
Facts about West Alabama:
Annual Average Temperature (F°) . . . . . . . . 62.8
Month with highest Avg. Temp. . . . . . . July (91.4)
Annual Average Precipationl (inches) . . . . . 57.70
Source: Southeast Regional Climate Center
Cultural Events & Facilities
Tuscaloosa is the largest city in the West Alabama trade area. The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa strives to bring new and exciting cultural events to the region. Many cultural facilities and events are currently available n the area. The list below provides some examples of such events and facilities.
Frank Moody Music Building
Fashioned after the Vienna Philharmonic
Home of the Tuscaloosa Symphony
Garland Art Gallery
19th & 20th Century art
Includes work from Picasso and Ansel Adams
Located on the University of Alabama Campus
Kentuck Festival of the Arts
Attracts over 30,000 visitors and 300 artisans
Held at Kentuck Park every October
Moundville Native American Festival
Exhibition of the culture of Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole Indians
Old Towne Northport
A collection of art galleries, museums and restaurants
Voted one of the “Top 100 Small Art Communities in the United States”
Celebrates the relationship with Tuscaloosa’s sister city, Narashino City, Japan
Source: NCUA. Link *Does not include credit unions whose corporate office is not in specified county.
Stock & Bond Brokers
American Express Financial Advisors
First Federal Bank
National Bank of Commerce
The West Alabama Trade Area is an ideal location for conventions and other business related gatherings. The Tuscaloosa area alone has more than 32 hotels and Bed and Breakfasts with a total of over 2,200 total rooms. Numerous meeting locations can accommodate groups of all sizes. Facilities at the University of Alabama add to the marketability of the area as a convention destination.
Along with the more than four recreational lakes and three rivers, the West Alabama area has a wide variety of land based activities. The more than seven golf courses, both private and public, will pose a challenge for any avid golfer. Two state parks offer visitors camping, hiking and fishing opportunities. Local YMCAs and other organizations coordinate a number of sport activities for participants of all ages.
Highways & Road Systems
The West Alabama area is serviced by Interstates 59/20 and 359. I-59/20 connects the Region with Atlanta, approximately three hours, to the Northeast and New Orleans, approximately four hours, to the South. U.S. Highways 82, 43, and 11, State Highways 69, 215, and 171, also service the area. These highways connect the communities of the West Alabama region and all intersect in the city of Tuscaloosa, which is located on I-59/20. The newly constructed Black Warrior Parkway creates a direct link from I-59/20 to the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport.
The West Alabama region is strategically located to service the Southeast and the globe. Major ports on the Gulf of Mexico are less than three hundred miles to the South. This location also allows goods to be shipped North to Birmingham and Atlanta, where they can be routed to any location in the world.
There are many motor freight and package delivery companies that service the region. These services in conjunction with the road system make the region a premier location for global corporations.
The Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, Van de Graff field, has a 6,500 foot lighted jet runway. Charter air services are available with excellent private and corporate air facilities located at the airport complex. Bama Air and Tuscaloosa Air provide fixed base operation. Van de Graff field is conveniently located adjacent to the Tuscaloosa Airport Industrial Park.
Birmingham’s International Airport, is a short hour’s drive from the West Alabama Region and serves the entire United States. Several major carriers, including Delta, American, United, Northwest, Southwest, TWA, Continental, and USAir service the facility.
Rail is a vital transportation link for the region. Numerous manufacturing and consumer goods plants rely on rail service for shipping. Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern service the region. Amtrak also offers passenger service to New Orleans, Louisiana. The “Crescent” route links New York and New Orleans.
The Black Warrior river bisects the West Alabama Region. The river, with a federally maintained waterway, connects the region to the port of Mobile via the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway as well as to the Tennessee, Ohio, and Mississippi River systems.
Communities within the region provide public transportation services. Tuscaloosa provides scheduled inter-city bus passenger service daily. Greyhound provides local scheduled passenger service. Charter service is available from many charter companies.