2014-08-06 / Front Page

Colquitt, Miller County Visited by Georgia Tourism Resource Team

A diverse crowd attends the Georgia Tourism Resource Team reception. A diverse crowd attends the Georgia Tourism Resource Team reception. This past Monday through Tuesday, July 28 - 29, the Georgia Tourism Division’s Product Development Office conducted a mini Resource Team visit in Colquitt, Miller County. The Resource Team is a statewide program administered through the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Colquitt was selected to participate in a new initiative which focuses technical assistance in the form of a reconnaissance and strategy visit to a local community interested in developing its tourism potential. In the case of Colquitt, the team focused on cultural and heritage tourism relevant to the local economy. The team members consisted of representatives from the Georgia Department of Economic Development; Georgia Council for the Arts and the Department of Community Affairs. At a later date representatives from The Fox Theater Institute will meet with community leaders to review plans for the renovation of the Wood Stork Theater.

“We were pleased in the results of an exploratory dialog with the chamber and community leadership,” said Bruce Green, director of Tourism Prod- uct Development at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “The team spent time in an exchange of ideas to explore the next level of cultural infrastructure and activities that will be critical to Colquitt’s continued progress and success.”

During the Resource Team visit, the team members working with local Chamber and community leadership inventoried and discussed cultural assets that are most likely candidates for further developing an expanded cultural tourism based economy in Miller County as well as identified obstacles that might impede the implementation of such efforts in the future.

At Monday night’s reception the team revealed that over the last ten years tourism in Miller County has resulted in the creation of a $6 million economy that sustains 70 jobs and saves each Miller County taxpayer $172.41 annually in taxes because of the money spent by visitors to Colquitt. Tourism expenditures are up 12.29% in Miller County since 2008, which is most impressive in that this increase occurred during the latest national recession.

The team will return in approximately 60 days to present its findings to community leaders and representatives of local organizations in a town hall meeting. Details of which will be released later.

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