Week 7 – Economic Development, Day II
With tourism as a major economic driver in Beaufort County, Economic Development Day II of the Beaufort County Senior Leadership Program was designed to increase participants’ knowledge of the impact that tourism has on the county. Rob Wells, Vice President of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Susan Thomas, Senior Vice President of the Hilton Head/Bluffton Chamber, provided overviews and discussion on their respective areas. LaNelle Fabian, Executive Director of Main Street, discussed the importance of how festivals and downtown revitalization attracts tourists to Beaufort.
Taking a closer look at tourism spending, Dr. John Salazar, Professor USCB, Director LRITI, highlighted the impact on local hotels, restaurants, rental properties and small businesses.
Discussions on locally grown food products and a walking tour “Tasting the delights of Southern Cuisine” were also part of the day.
At the downtown marina, the class boarded the Gracie Belle for a ride in Beaufort Harbor. Craig Reeves, owner of Sea Eagle Market, provided an overview of the ship’s equipment and his families’ interest in the Consumer Supported Fishery Business. The day concluded at Wined It Up on Bay Street for an evening mixer and camaraderie.