Community leaders and inaugural funders of Visit York County’s newly formed Partners in Tourism Foundation gathered at the Pump House on Thursday, April 1, 2021 to celebrate the convening of the organization that will focus on enhancing destination development in York County.
The need for the private partner cohort came as a result of Visit York County's strategic plan. By engaging the private sector to forward destination development initiatives, Visit York County maximizes public investment in tourism and is able to proactively approach future development, particularly during a time of unprecedented growth in the region.
"As a fundamental component to sustainable community development, destination development serves to draw visitors and spending to the region, support local employers, attract and retain workforce, and create a place where people want to not just visit, but work, live and do business,” said Billy Dunlap, President & CEO of Visit York County. “Our partners will support projects that enhance our ability to increase awareness of the area and encourage in-market spending throughout the entire year.”
Sustainable infrastructure enhancements, conference and meeting space, tourism-related accelerators, and innovative wayfinding units are among the initiatives the group is considering in its first year. By partnering with local employers beyond the hospitality sector, Visit York County is able to better support the growth efforts of the area's largest employers.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to raise our bar in York County," said Mark Hart, Chief Operating Officer for the Carolina Panthers who serves as Founding Chair of the organization.
South State Bank, The Tuttle Company, DIRTT Environmental Solutions, and the Keith Corporation were among the nearly thirty organizations represented at the event.
“Each of you are here because you represent a unique industry and aspect of this community and your engagement is critical to proactively forward collective local development and to support a prosperous economic ecosystem,” said Mallory Snyder, Vice President of Business Development for Visit York County.
Partner organizations contribute annually at one of four levels of engagement annually for three years. For those committed, Partner meetings will continue later this Spring and follow a quarterly meeting schedule.
The forum also included an update about the Carolina Panthers Rock Hill development which upon completion in 2023, will feature 3.9 million square feet of development, including a nearly 623,000-square-foot headquarters, a 5,000-seat outdoor stadium, a 113,000-square-foot multipurpose sports and entertainment center and a 120,000-square-foot indoor practice center.
The Visit York County Partners in Tourism Foundation is pending 501(c)3 not-for-profit status. To learn more about the program, visit www.visityorkcounty.com/partners or contact Mallory Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org.