Long range tourism plan opens up river.


JOINING US. COVERAGE YOU CAN COUNT ON CONTINUES WITH LONG RANGE PLANS TO BRING MORE TOURISTS AND THEIR MONEY TO DOWNTOWN AUGUSTA. THE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU OFFICIALLY UNVEILING IT’S DESTINATION BLUE PRINT, A LONG RANGE PLAN, WITH CVB OFFICIALS SAY IT’S AN UNPRECEDENTED OPPORTUNITY. WJBF NEWSCHANEL SIX’S GEORGE ESKOLA IS LIVE IN OUR NEWSROOM AND GEORGE. CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU OFFICALS SAY COMPARED TO OTHER CITIES OUR SIZE, AUGUSTA IS BEHIND WHEN IT COMES TO THINGS TO OFFER TOURISTS. OUTSIDE THE MASTERS THAT’S RIGHT, BUT THERE’S A LOT OF POTENTIAL GROWTH HEADING THIS WAY,AND CVB SAYS ITS TIME TO TAGE ADVANTAGE OF IT AND SAY THIS DESTINATION TOURISM BLUE PRINT WILL TAKE THE CITY TO THE NEXT LEVEL FOR VISITORS AS WELL AS RESIDENTS . THIS IS HOW THE AUGUSTA COMMON LOOKS TODAY, BUT IN THE FUTURE IT COLD HAVE A WHOLE NEW LOOK. WE GOT TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX I’VE BEEN SAYING THAT FOR YEARS WE GOT TO DO WHAT OTHER CITIES ARE DOING AND THE STUFF I SAW TODAY WOULD REALLY CHANGE AUGUSTA. HE’S ONE OF THOSE PROPOSED CHANGES EXPANDING THE AUGUSTA COMMON ACROSS REYNOLDS STREET WHERE IT WOULD RISE UP AND JOIN THE RIVERWALK THERE WOULD BE A SPLASH PADS FOR KIDS IT WOULD END UP AT A RESTAURANT BAR OUT IN THE RIVER WHERE PEOPLE COULD RENT CANOES OR KAYAKS HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU HEARD WE’RE NOT MAXIMIZING WE’RE MOT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF OUR GREATEST ASSET THE RIVER IT’S TIME FOR US TO DO THAT. THE AMBITIOUS PLAN IS CALLING FOR PUBLIC ART A SCULPTURE GARDEN TRAILS THAT COULD LEAD VISITORS OR RESIDENTS TO A ZIP LINE PARK OVER THE CANAL OR RIVER, AND IN JAMES BROWN HONOR IN INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL BUT IT WOULD NEED TO BE WELL PLANNED AND ALLOW TO GROW. SO IF YOU PLAN FOR THE YEAR THE FIRST YEAR DON’T EXPECT IT TO ROCK THE WORLD SO TO SPEAK BUT BY YEAR FIVE WERE HOPEFUL YOU COULD ACTUALLY CREATE AN EVENT THAT IS NOT ONLY A COMMUNITY ASSET BUT DRAWS VISITORS INTERNATIONAL. AND TO MOVE THOSE VISITORS AROUND THE PLAN CALLS FOR A FLEET OF GOLF CARTS TO SHUTTLE PEOPLE TO VARIOUS ATTRACTIONS. THE ONES WE’RE TALKING TO RIGHT NOW WOULD BE TIP ONLY YOU GET ON YOUR RIDE FOR FREE YOU JUST TIP YOUR DRIVER, BUT FOR AUGUSTA THESE PLANS WOULDN’T BE FREE AND THAT’S ALWAYS AN ISSUE. I THINK THAT’S GOING TO BE TOUGH I THINK WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE A SMALL BIT AND DO IT RIGHT AGAIN WE HAVE THE MAINTENANCE ASPECT HOW ARE WE GOING TO MAINTAIN IT ONCE WE BUILD IT. CONSULTANTS SAY IF THE CITY COULD DO ONLY ONE PROJECT THE TOP PRIORITY WOULD BE EXPAND THE COMMON TO THE RIVER. BACK IN 2015 VOTERS APPPROVED FOUR MILLION DOLLARS IN SALES TAX FUNDING FOR HIKING AND BIKING TRAILS AND RIVERWATCH ENHANCMENTS AND EXPANSION SO SOME OF THOSE DOLLARS COULD GO INTO THAT BACK TO YOU.

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