Rock Hill, SC (February 4, 2021) – In the first six months of a new partnership between Visit York County and Rock Hill Parks, Recreation & Tourism (PRT), the area saw an incredible impact from sports tourism. The partnership was formed in July of 2020 as a way to continue to drive sports and event tourism into Rock Hill and strengthen support for our area hotels from that impact.

From July through December, Rock Hill PRT in partnership with Visit York County hosted 119 events inside Rock Hill with just 8 outside of PRT facilities.  These events produced over 235,000 in estimated attendance, over 96,000 in estimated hotel room nights and over $41.5 million in estimated direct economic impact. 

Rock Hill PRT Director John Taylor said, “Financial support and tourism services from our partner Visit York County have made a very positive impact on these events.  At the same time, it’s the City of Rock Hill and the PRT staff who recruit events, operate and maintain multiple sports venues and provide outstanding customer service every day that goes a long way to making these events successful.”

The addition of the Rock Hill Sports & Event Center and coordination with event organizers and the state of South Carolina Departments of Commerce and Parks, Recreation and Tourism to implement COVID-19 protocols allowed for such large success during the pandemic. The combined impact of these events on area hotels and restaurants was imperative due to a decrease in demand from business and leisure markets due to COVID-19.

“Although we were restricted due to the pandemic, the opportunity for the area to host so many sporting events in Rock Hill PRT facilities and York County gave our community a fighting chance to survive, through meals in our local restaurants and overnight stays in our hotels, which kept our hospitality industry employed,” said Visit York County President & CEO Billy Dunlap.

About the Partnership: Visit York County and Rock Hill Parks, Recreation & Tourism (PRT) entered into a new partnership in July of 2020. Through privately raised financial support of Visit York County, the two organizations work to bring events into Rock Hill. In return the organizations focus on placing visitors exclusively into area hotels.  The goal of both organizations is to promote long-term development and marketing of our destination, with a focus on sports, convention and leisure sales and tourism marketing services.