Spartan

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This is a thread where we can discuss anything concerning South Carolina or its cities that would not warrant a thread of its own, or something that would not otherwise be posted on this site. Please feel free to contribute as much as you like. My only request is that you don't post entire articles in this thread. A link would be much better.

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I was in Columbia a few days ago, and as I was driving I wondered why weren't the BB&T building on Two Notch Road and the Companion building off I-20 built downtown? Both buildings have some height to them and would definitely add to the downtown skyline.

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Welcome to the forum krazeeboi!

I'm not sure about the BB&T on Two Notch. I guess they just wanted a suburban office building. If I'm thinking of the right building, its only 4 stories or so- I doubt it would add much to downtown other than a nice infill.

The buliding off of I-20 is the Blue Cross-Blue Shield Building. They built that out there in the 70s or early 80s becuase the land was cheaper than downtown. When they first built that building they only used baout 2 or 3 floors of it. Everyone thought they were crazy for it. But now they use all of the building. Talk about great planning :)

I do agree that it would have added alot to the skyline. I wish it were downtown. It is a relatively attractive building.

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just a question. what determines an area as a metro. i looked at the census information and they listed Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville as metros. in the populations numbers they included many of the surrounding counties. i was just wondering why these cities got to include so many surrounding counties in their metro populations, but other cities, such as spartanburg, didn't.

another question, do you think that spartanburg will build any new towers in the near future?

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Good question-

Spartanburg is its own metro now.

Metropolitain Statistical Areas are defined by commuters. I think that if a county has 25% of its population commute to another county then it is considered a part of that metro. Spartanburg and Anderson have less than 25% commuting to Greenville, which is why they are their own metros, but Pickens and Laurens were added into Greenville's Metro becasue they meet the 35% requirement.

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Spartan is correct and I agree with those guidelines to determine a metro area. I expect Sumter and maybe even Orangeburg counties to be added to Columbia's metro area in the foreseeable future. Many people commute from those areas although I couldn't imagine driving 40 miles to work every day.

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Thanks for the welcome, Spartan. I guess perhaps the BB&T building looks so tall because it kinda sits on a hill, and there is no other building in its proximity that is comparable in height.

Here's another thought to add to the thread: Do you all think that some SC towns/cities may not be capitalizing on their location? For instance, there is a town in Orangeburg County by the name of Holly Hill (my uncle pastors a church there). It has I-26 and I-95 in its proximity, yet there is absolutely nothing off the exits there.

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Spartan is correct and I agree with those guidelines to determine a metro area. I expect Sumter and maybe even Orangeburg counties to be added to Columbia's metro area in the foreseeable future. Many people commute from those areas although I couldn't imagine driving 40 miles to work every day.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

They do it in Atlanta everyday ;)

Thanks for the welcome, Spartan. I guess perhaps the BB&T building looks so tall because it kinda sits on a hill, and there is no other building in its proximity that is comparable in height.
This is true.

Here's another thought to add to the thread: Do you all think that some SC towns/cities may not be capitalizing on their location? For instance, there is a town in Orangeburg County by the name of Holly Hill (my uncle pastors a church there). It has I-26 and I-95 in its proximity, yet there is absolutely nothing off the exits there.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have often wondered why there is no development a that interchange. There is some cleared land though. I think that is an interesting idea, but I can't tink of anywhere that isn't capitalizing on thheir location. There are alot of places that are stimied by it though- usually correlating with the lack of an interstate (Union County, Williamburg County, etc).

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They do it in Atlanta everyday ;)

This is true.

I have often wondered why there is no development a that interchange. There is some cleared land though. I think that is an interesting idea, but I can't tink of anywhere that isn't capitalizing on thheir location. There are alot of places that are stimied by it though- usually correlating with the lack of an interstate (Union County, Williamburg County, etc).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, there WILL be development at the intersection of I-95 and I-26, but it will be in Dorchester County towards St. George. The town has plans to build a truck and port depot there, and they are hoping that will spur other development such as restaurants and shops.

The land cleared out was a controlled burn to offset possible forest fires from occurring, but that part of land is where they are talking about putting the depot.

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Spartan is correct and I agree with those guidelines to determine a metro area. I expect Sumter and maybe even Orangeburg counties to be added to Columbia's metro area in the foreseeable future. Many people commute from those areas although I couldn't imagine driving 40 miles to work every day.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Counties being added to metro areas are happening everywhere. Colleton County is talked of being added to the Charleston area, and Orangeburg County is being talked about as well. According to some numbers, more people go towards Charleston than Columbia from Orangeburg...but I can't confirm that. I think Orangeburg and Sumter should become their OWN metro areas. Orangeburg and Sumter are big enough to do that. But I don't know the procedures you would go through to accomplish that.

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The metro area definitions come from the Federal Government's OMB department which use the Census numbers applied to these definitions to determine federal allotments that are based on population.

I've got to get around to doing a post on the larger SC areas MSAs & CSAs similar to what I did for the Charlotte metro.

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The metro area definitions come from the Federal Government's OMB department which use the Census numbers applied to these definitions to determine federal allotments that are based on population. 

I've got to get around to doing a post on the larger SC areas MSAs & CSAs similar to what I did for the Charlotte metro.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What exactly did you do for the Charlotte metro?

Edited by The_sandlapper

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What exactly did you do for the Charlotte metro?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

See this thread. It has some good definitions in it in any case. Would be interesting to apply it to Columbia, Charleston & Greenville/Spartanburg

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I have all the numbers for every Metro, Micro and CSA in SC with 2003 estimates. It would be a very easy thing to pull out the large cities' stats. I'll see about making that thread.

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For all of you Columbia people out there, I want to ask you a question. Is there anybody else out there besides me that thinks there should be a direct 4-lane highway or street that goes directly from I-77 into downtown? I take Shop Road all the time to get to work, and it is a pain with it being 2-lanes. WHY do they allow it to continue to be 2 lanes? It is excessively used during the day, and it seems to be the only direct route from I-77 to access Assembly Street.

Also, wouldn't it make sense to widen Shop Road to 4 lanes considering that many people take that route to USC football games? Williams-Brice is right there beside the road!

Edited by Charleston native

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Good question. I couldn't tell you much. I do believe there is an extention highway being built from Columbia to I-77 or I-26 around the airport/ SE beltway. Not sure where that exact location is though?

As for Shop Rd. I don't know I guess they are gonna wait until that area has gotten to far developed and then wait and say, "Oh yeah I guess we need to widen the roads".

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Indeed there is. The new 12th Street extention goes down to 77 I think. You have to turn on Knox Abbot/Blossom or Meeting/Gervais to get into DT though.

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Bluff Road is 4 lanes and it connects with Assembly Street/George Rogers Blvd at Williams-Brice Stadium. It would be helpful if Shop Road was widened, however. It is 4 lanes from South Beltline to Atlas Road, but only 2 lanes from South Beltline to George Rogers Blvd. A widening AND beautification of Shop Road would be very nice to see.

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Interesting facts in BOLD.

State officials: Tourism is South Carolina's biggest industry

By TERRY WARD

Morning News

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Tourism is the state's largest industry, S.C. Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department Director Chad Prosser said while addressing the Florence County Legislative Delegation last week.

Prosser, a Florence native, said tourism is a $14.6 billion industry in South Carolina, providing 188,000 jobs. State tax revenues from tourism amount to $1 billion, he said.

"We are the fourth-largest in tourism in the country," said Prosser, adding that only Hawaii, Nevada and Florida bring in more tourist dollars than South Carolina.

Prosser said that the state draws 33 percent more visitors than Hawaii, though visitors to South Carolina spend only 57 percent per visitor of the national average.

PRT has three main objectives. It has the job of running the State Park Service; running the state's nine Welcome Centers; and running the state's tourism marketing campaign.

To market the state's attractions, PRT spends $15 million.

Pee Dee tourism

The Pee Dee Tourism Commission, with an annual budget of about $200,000, markets the area, just as the state is marketed.

"We print a visitor's guide; we go to golf shows," Pee Dee Tourism Commission director Fran Willis said.

Willis said the commission markets Pee Dee golf packages for courses in several of the region's counties at shows in three Ohio cities and Pittsburgh and at two golf shows in Canada.

Golf brings a total of $176 million annually into Florence County, and that calculation includes lodging, gasoline sales, meals and any other expenditure related to those who come to play golf, Willis said.

The Grand Strand, which Prosser said attracts 13.5 million tourists per year, is good for the Pee Dee, Willis said.

"Myrtle Beach has helped us," she said.

Willis said the golf packages the commission markets do not have the surcharges, a cart requirement or crowded tee times that are found at the beach.

The Pee Dee's closeness to the beach helps in another way, too. Willis and Prosser said visitors to the Grand Strand want activities related to local heritage and culture.

"We have people who want to get away from the beach for a day during their vacation and go to the Tobacco Museum in Mullins or the Cotton Museum in Bishopville," Willis said.

And those visitors are welcome.

"Tourists are a gift to the area's economy," Willis said. "They are not a strain on services offered by local governments, like police, fire or garbage pick-up."

Aside from the numbers Willis gives to support her contention of local tourism growth, accommodations tax numbers for Florence County have increased every year since 2001. Prosser said the county's rate of growth in taxes on lodging and dining out is about twice that of the state's average.

In the fiscal year 2001-02, Florence County collected just more than $669,568,000 in accommodations tax. In 2002-03, the county collected more than $711,554,000. That number grew to more than $754,733,000 in the 2003-04 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

The job of the commission is to help continue positive growth. To do that, in addition to promoting golf, the commission also places advertisements in publications that target the people most likely to visit to the Pee Dee.

Prosser alluded to the fact that outdoors-based tourism, or eco-tourism, which includes hunting, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, is a growing business. It is these tourists the Pee Dee attracts.

There are hunting packages offered in the area for turkey, quail, deer, wild hogs and duck. Fishing deals include freshwater and saltwater packages.

Marion County is one of the region's counties that has several rivers running through it. With the abundance of rivers, the canoeing and kayaking business has grown.

Willis said to help promote eco-tourist trade, the commission has placed ads in outdoors magazines, such as Field & Stream and Canoeing and Kayaking. The area also is promoted with ads in AAA magazine.

Because this is the first year the commission has placed ads in those national publications, Willis said the growth that has occurred can likely be attributed to the ad campaign. She also said the amount of inquiries generated by the ads shows the marketing is working.

Another activity that attracts visitors to the area, Willis said, is birdwatching. She said Marlboro County is a favorite destination for birdwatchers.

Amateur sports, such as the softball tournaments at Freedom Florence and other area locations, are another source of tourism that Prosser said helps increase visitors to Florence and the Pee Dee.

Future plans

The commission already is working on a plan that should enrich heritage-based tourism for the Pee Dee.

Willis said it is developing an African-American Heritage Trail that will cover all seven Pee Dee counties.

"We expect to have our brochure for it ready by June 30," she said.

The trail would feature lodging cabins from bygone days, historical churches and other sites. The plan also calls for having storytellers in each county to offer a sort of oral history of events to visitors.

Willis said the Pee Dee can benefit from other state projects, too.

One of the top initiatives of PRT is the more than 200-mile South Carolina National Heritage Corridor. It is two routes through 14 counties beginning in Oconee County, in the western part of the state, and ending in Charleston.

The corridor does not run through any Pee Dee counties, but Willis said the area can gain from it anyway.

"With our location and interstates, we can attract visitors here from the Heritage Corridor," she said.

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I find that very suprising. I can't believe we have more tourists than Hawaii, and that California and New York aren't on there. That is very intresting.

It would also be interesting to see this broken down by county. I know that Greenville and Columbia are in the top of the state for tourist $

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I will probably catch some flack for this, but here goes: Tourism as an industry in South Carolina is a white elephant. It perpetuates the state's historically low income levels and does nothing to improve South Carolina economy. Look at most tourism jobs - they pay less than $10.00 per hour and most of the resort owners go out of state...the profit doesn't stay in South Carolina. Tourism is great as a part of a state's economy, but if you put all of your eggs in that basket, you get what we have; a state that continues to be near the bottom in income and education.

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No, no... I just meant in the top counties. Charleston and Horry are the top two counties, no question. I am not sure which is the top county though.

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2004 Stats

Region - # of Visitors - # of Visitor Days

Coastal - 14,458,331 - 63,816,369

Midlands - 4,804,881 - 14,541,455

Upstate - 3,644,433 - 11,551,939

Unkown - 9,010,826 - 15,464,772

SC Total - 30,026,973 - 105,374,534

In terms of tourism dollars, the top counties for the revenue period: Jul '02-Jun '03, are as follows:

  • 1. Horry $12,179,567
    2. Charleston $6,674,831
    3. Beaufort $4,279,122
    4. Greenville $1,642,280
    5. Richland $1,594,531
    6. Georgetown $1,090,437
    7. Florence $711,554
    8. Lexington $611,819
    9. Spartanburg $486,950
    10. Orangeburg $471,528
    11. York $446,784

Source

This is also an interesting link: Hotel Operating Performance

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