TDA adopts tourism plan

Crump: Plan is ‘a good blueprint’

By Kevin Spradlin

Previous coverage
* Jan. 22: ‘A playground for the creative class’
* Jan. 22: County seeks tourism director

ROCKINGHAM — Members of the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority met on Tuesday and approved the plan created by a South Carolina consultant to implement a new tourism strategy.

A key piece of the 53-page brand development and business strategy from Arnett Muldrow & Associates, in Greenville, S.C., focuses on the use of the visitor center and its availability as a reliable go-to place for county tourism information. With the use of a separate building, it no longer makes sense for the trio of Rockingham City Manager Monty Crump, Events Planner Kim Williams and City Planner John Massey to fill in for what would be a tourism director.

tourismLast month, TDA members authorized the recruitment of a tourism director to head county tourism. On Tuesday, members approved filling the position. Crump and Williams said the city has received nearly two dozen applicants for the job, which will pay a base salary of $50,000 to $60,000. The person will be a city of Rockingham employee for administrative purposes and will report to TDA members.

Crump said of the two dozen or so candidates for the position, some are making more than double that salary in their current positions. The job description, advertised in multiple regional tourism publications including Destination Marketing Association International and in the Southeast Tourism Society magazine and website. The job boards offer a combined 44 jobs from Kansas to Pennsylvania and from California to Florida. Candidates for the job hail from mostly the east coast, from Florida to Tennessee.

Crump expressed a slight bewilderment from some of the candidates.

“I don’t know why you’d apply for this job” if the candidate is making so much money in another position. But the time in those positions could be coming to an end in a variety of ways — or, he noted, being a part of creating something from scratch could be attractive to some candidates.

“And they’ve got a plan laid out” to execute, Williams said.

The Richmond County TDA is fully funded by hotel/motel tax revenue. The county and city split equally a 6 percent tax on each night’s hotel stay.  The TDA is governed by a seven-member board chaired by County Manager Rick Sago. The board is comprised of four members appointed by the Richmond County Board of Commissioners, two by Rockingham City Council and one from the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce. The TDA operates on an annual budget of approximately $225,000.

In Fiscal Year 2014, which ended June 30, 2014, the TDA supported the following events totaling $117,190:

* Rockingham Dragway — $45,000
* 2014 Plaza Jam series — $22,500
* Discovery Place KIDS — $20,000
* Outdoor Agri Expo — $6,600
* USLMRA Race for Taylor lawn mower races — $6,000
* Rockingham Farmers’ Market — $5,040
* Committee to Promote Growth & Econ Dev — $5,000
* Seaboard Festival — $2,000
* Christmas on the Square — $1,600
* Hinson Lake 24-Hour Ultra Classic — $1,250
* Norman Fest — $1,200
* Barrel horse shows at Still Waters Arena — $1,000

Uwharrie region grant approved

The city of Rockingham will spearhead a regional tourism initiative with the help of a $25,000 grant, first reported on on Jan. 22.

The grant comes from the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division. Five million people live within a two-hour drive of Rockingham and the nearby counties of Davidson, Montgomery, Rowan, Stanly and Anson. Davie, Randolph and Moore counties also could be included in the study that could focus on leveraging motorsports, agri-tourism and outdoor recreation.

Richmond County wants to jumpstart its own tourism-related economy and boost others’ at the same time.

The money will fund the hiring of a destination research consultant that would complete an asset inventory, visitor analysis and branding exploration and then use that information for business recruitment, including local entrepreneurial development.

Results of the consultant’s work would be presented at a regional forum, tentative scheduled for May, that would highlight the benefits of regional marketing.


Filed in: Latest Headlines, Outdoors

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  • Joey DeBerry

    All this shows is we still have the same useless wasteful Spending Control Freaks that spend Thousands of Tax Dollars to Pass their useless plans that will create nothing for This County and all this is Political with the Elections Coming up so Republicans Nows the time to come out and get to work if we are going to Continue this fight to Make this a Better County To Raise our children in our lose them to other Cities when they Graduate High School or RCC as most have to do with such low Paying Jobs Here.In 2 years Burlington is going to Put 10 new Jobs in Place so each year hundreds Graduate here and all the 20 Hrs or less jobs we have here will bring us all out of this DEEP HOLE Richmond County has been Falling into for Decades so keep Richmond County under Dem Control and we will Reap what has been planted here and has never grown just weeds and our Kids either move away to Survive or end up in Prison for Dealing Drugs to Survive and are caught walking the Streets at night Stealing to take care of their Selves and their Families.Im not going away and have said so until all these Crooks are gone?

  • william english

    It seems that some citizens here are professional dissenters. Nothing that is ever proposed here, built here or even discussed here is ever given their official seal of approval. No elected official, appointed official or even the simple common man is ever applauded for effective administration of their appointed posts. Richmond County…and Rockingham is a great place to live and raise a family. There has been no tax increases locally in recent memory. And that has been during a time of financial upheval rivaling…and possibly surpassing the great depression. It has certainly lasted longer. Our geograpic neighbor Scotland county can only dream that its financial state was even close to as good as our counties. The city of Rockingham LOOKS better than it has during my entire lifetime. None of these things have came about by accident. Please tell me what community DOES NOT need more and better jobs? I will freely admit that Richmond County needs more and better amenities. I was absolutely flabbergasted that the proposed sports complex was so decisively voted down. The cost was so low to each individual its doubtful that the money would have even been missed. The future will show that this was a serious mistake in judgement by the citizens. Instead of constantly nay-saying….offer some better aternatives or better yet…run for office or volunteer yourselves and show us what you can do.

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