Revenue generated by the local tourism industry that goes to the promotions agency is running is running about 10% behind budget, but approximately $26,000 ahead of last year.
Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism Executive Director Lisa Smith told the tourism board that she is optimistic a solid fourth quarter will lead a positive turnaround.
“Sporting events really kept us going,” Smith said Wednesday afternoon.
Through the end of August, which represents 67% of the year, total revenues for the tourism office were at 55% of the budget projection. However, like local sales tax collections, which are still running ahead of budgets, sales at the tourism gift shops were at 88% of budget for the year.
The fall promises to be a big month for the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College, with a couple of significant tournaments slated for October. The USTA Closed 12s will be held Oct. 3-6; the ITA Cup, featuring NAIA college players from around the country, Oct. 16-18.
The Office of Tourism took over management of the tennis center June 1.
Smith also showed a folder with a long list of tournaments that are committed to playing at the tennis center over the next three years.
Tina Talton, who represents the Wings Over North Georgia air show, briefed the board on plans for the event on Oct. 24-25. Visitors will be allocated a 20-foot by 20-foot space where they can park and tailgate. They can bring their own coolers and food, but alcohol is prohibited.
Talton said the airport grounds will be laid out like a big checkerboard.
“You’re going to have a great view wherever you are,” she said. Front line parking sold out in two days.
There will be a limited number of vendors at the show this year so people will not have to move about and stand in any lines. There will not be any static displays of aircraft. However, as people are coming onto the airport grounds prior to the show both days, the Georgia State Patrol aerial division will provide demonstrations of their tactical practices and huge C-130 cargo aircraft will demonstrate some of the cargo drop maneuvers.
Tickets for the show are available solely in advance from the website wingsovernorthgeorgia.com.
Rome and Floyd County are still getting serious interest from film and television producers, Ann Hortman told the tourism board. She said one unnamed project will be coming to the community soon and she is hopeful that another would materialize for January.
Members of the tourism board also got a chance to view some of the numerous video clips produced by Kristi Kent to promote Rome’s outdoors. Most of the clips are shared on social media.
However, Kent said the tourism office participated in a Georgia Public Broadcasting promotional campaign this year and is also using television outlets along the coast. She said state tourism officials found there is a lot of interest from coastal residents in visiting the mountains, and of mountain residents visiting the coast.