The Rockmart segment of the tour was wedged in between lunchtime stops in Dallas and an extensive tour of downtown Rome in the afternoon.
Mike Starr, Foundation president, said tour participants fell into three basic categories of interest.
"First, some are developers and are interested in possibly investing in some of the communities we are visiting," Starr said.
"Secondly, some are interested in the projects that the Foundation is funding."
Third, Starr said, are persons interested in downtown redevelopment. They take away practical examples of what other communities have accomplished through the use of strategic planning and other efforts, such as the Streetscape redevelopment program.
Visitors arrived by tour bus shortly after 1 p.m. They arrived in Rockmart down Goodyear Avenue, driving through the former Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. mill town, now privately owned homes. The former Goodyear Mill is now the home of Engineered Fabrics Co., an aviation company and defense contractor.
The tour then stopped at the old Rockmart High School on Piedmont Avenue, now owned by the City of Rockmart. The city is still early in the stages of transforming the former campus into a municipal complex. Some city departments already are housed there, and others are to follow within the next couple of years.
Finally, the bus stopped in downtown Rockmart so participants could take a walking tour of the historic downtown. Visitors had a brief rest stop at the downtown Art Gallery and the community theater.
Next visitors headed down Marble street, the main thoroughfare through the downtown commercial district. They popped into several businesses along the way, chatting with business owners. They also viewed loft apartments that have been created in formerly unused upstairs space above downtown businesses.
Visitors were treated to snacks of chicken salad and fresh-from-the-oven breadsticks at Frankie's Restaurant. From there they walked along the Silver Comet Trail to The Depot at Richardson Field, a city-owned reception and meeting hall available for rent to the public (by reservation).
Guests had a chance to mingle and chat while enjoying iced tea and "Welcome Rockmart" cookies, along with other treats. Finally, they received gift bags while boarding the bus for the journey to Rome.
The tour headed out of town shortly before 3 p.m.