Pickens must join other counties to develop visitor-ready venues, says organizer
Anyone with an interest in developing tourism here is encouraged to attend a meeting in Cartersville Monday on “What it take to make us a an arts and cultural destination?”
Organized by the Pickens Arts and Cultural Alliance (PACA) and 4 Corners Cultural Consortium, the meeting will be Monday, March 26 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Clarence Brown Conference Center in Cartersville.
Amelia McIntyre, Executive Director of PACA, said it is important for Pickens County to join other nearby counties to form a large tourism destination. And it is important Pickens residents participate in these multi-county meetings to see that Pickens which is the smallest of the four counties is still well represented.
“It is essential for Pickens to work with the 4 Corners Consortium (named for where the corners of Pickens, Cherokee, Bartow and Gordon counties meet). We have a common drive-through area. We need to work together to create visitor ready venues.”
McIntyre said Pickens is particularly challenged to offer regular, 7-day a week, events and sites, but even the larger Cherokee and Bartow counties face a similar problem. She said Cartersville with the Booth Western Museum and indian mounds has significantly more tourism spots already in place. “But they are right [on I-75] between Atlanta and Chattanooga, so they have the same problem of getting people to stop and not just drive through, just on a bigger scale than we do.”
In Pickens County, McIntyre said she considers the Sharptop Arts Center with its regular shows and the Old Jail with its historic tours, among the best opportunity to develop attractions here.
“We appreciate them being here,” she said. “But we need to help them expand and the way to do that is to create more traffic flow, which brings in more people and more revenue.”
McIntyre is advocating a four county joint approach that mixes and matches from a variety of potential sites and features including the proximity to Atlanta, southern end of the Appalachian Mountains, Native American heritage, marble works. “We are not going to make it on just mountains or on marble alone, but our future is bright,” she said.
McIntyre said she understands the difficulty for people making the meeting during the work day in Cartersville, but it is important for Pickens to be represented.
See ad on meeting this week on page 3A.