Plans are to market the Trail, heritage locations and museums, wildlife areas and private service operators such as skydivers, The Rock, Hightower Falls, Highland Park and the scenic beauty of Polk.
Local officials note that tourism is the second largest industry in Georgia and netted about $34.8 billion in 2010.
Therefore, new emphasis is being placed on short and long term marketing efforts — not only to tourists but also to industrial prospects and businesses that create local jobs.
Polk County owns about 62 miles of the Silver Comet Trail, which is now marketed through sponsored websites in other counties such as Paulding and Cobb.
A Discover Georgia brochure, which includes points about the Trail, has been printed and distributed. The Silver Comet is noted as being one of the top 10 paved recreational paths in the United States.
Polk Tourism Committee members, chaired by Jean Laltrello, has set a goal of getting an accurate count of cyclists that use the trail. The idea is to promote cycling to friendly businesses and developments that may consider a location on the Silver Comet.
“We know that over 1,000 visitors sign in at the Depot in Cedartown,” Laltrello said. “This number does not include the people who whiz past or the ones who ride to the Rockmart park and return to Marietta or Dallas.”
Committee members also hope to prepare signage, which would be posted at the gateways of Polk to welcome visitors to such events as the BRAG ride on March 31 and the Truett Cathy sponsored motorcycle ride to benefit Murphy Harpst, Cedartown, on April 14.
Long-range plans are to partner with Cobb and Paulding counties to do television and Internet marketing with one entity that would oversee activities to prevent scheduling conflicts.
Groundwork is also being laid to introduce a program to recruit young people as volunteers. They would become community ambassadors and take ownership of quality of life events through mentoring and marketing efforts.
A new event on the marketing agenda is opening of the new Rockmart Museum and Welsh Festival on March 24.
It is being sponsored by the Rockmart Museum, partnering with the Rockmart Business Alliance, Van Wert Historical Society, and St. David’s Welsh Society, Rockmart Cultural Arts, Rockmart Library and others.
Plans are to begin with a community yard sale and grand opening ceremony for the museum, followed by local and Welsh music, storytelling, food, arts, crafts, book signings, games and a tour of historic homes and the old Van Wert Church.