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Visitors bureau touts area with new Web site

POSTED: April 29, 2009 12:31 a.m.

Convention, tourism business assessed

Stacey B. Dickson, president of the Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau, discusses key market conditions and goals.

BRASELTON — Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau plans to launch a new Web site next week as part of an ongoing effort to "reposition" itself to a larger market, its president said Tuesday.

The site will feature a look similar to its "Slip Away" visitors guide, with feature articles and helpful tourist information, Stacey B. Dickson told the South Hall Business Coalition. The group met Tuesday morning at Road Atlanta.

"We’ve always been promoted as the gateway to the mountains and that kind of thing, and that’s fine, but ... we look at it more as we’re the hub, spoke to the mountains and come back to the hub, spoke to Atlanta and come back to the hub," Dickson said. "We’re positioning Lake Lanier as the destination instead of the pass-through to the mountain destinations."

She added, "One of the ways we’re doing that is focusing on our Lake Lanier area. I always get laughs with this, but go with this: If Atlanta is the New York City of the South, then Lake Lanier is Atlanta’s Hamptons."

Last year, the agency changed its name from the Gainesville Hall County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The newly designed Web site "will draw visitors not just from out of town but our in-town folks," Dickson said she hopes. "Any given day of the week, there would be different stories about what’s happening in the area. It could be (about) a boat rental; it could be a restaurant that we’re featuring."

Dickson said that Hall County ranks 13th among Georgia counties in tourism numbers, Dickson said.

"Lowndes County and Clarke County are the two counties that are really keeping us out of the top 10, so we’re just after them like rabid dogs," she said.

"... We need your help to catch up and surpass our competitors."

Geoff Lee, Road Atlanta president, also spoke to the coalition, which is part of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, about the 2-mile race course, including a brief history lesson and some information about upcoming races.

"We’ve got quite a bit of legacy and lore with the track, and the international acclaim that it has and the interest that it brings with the national television coverage ... (are) phenomenal for the county and the businesses," Lee said.

The course’s "signature event" is the Petit Le Mans, an annual 10-hour endurance race set for Sept. 23-26.



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