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Authority hears from tourism official
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Forsyth County News

Other business

Also during its meeting Thursday morning, the Development Authority:

• Re-appointed Bobby Thomas as chairman. Vice-chairman David Seago and treasurer Tim Perry also retained their posts.

• Heard a 2011 review from Randall Toussaint, the local chamber of commerce’s vice president of economic development.  For the year, Toussaint said the chamber helped with a total of 16 recruitment or expansion projects, which lead to the creation of more than 1,015 new jobs and capital investments of nearly $43 million.

Members of the Forsyth County Development Authority learned about the local impact of tourism Thursday during their first meeting of the year.

The group heard from Anna Brostrom, the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce’s director of tourism.

Brostrom, who joined the chamber in May after 10 years with the Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau, discussed some of her current duties.

She said she works primarily in the sports, social and group/travel markets, recruiting various events and tournaments to the county.

In explaining the recruitment process, Brostrom said she searches for leads at various national trade shows and conventions. She then attempts to match those leads to local facilities.

She said Forsyth is ideal for many large-scale athletic tournaments due to its recreation facilities.

“We’re really unique in that all the parks and fields are all within about a 12-mile radius of each other,” she said. “In a lot of places, families would have to travel 30 or 40 miles in between parks.”

In response to a question from Bobby Thomas, authority chairman, Brostrom said there aren’t enough hotels in Forsyth County to accommodate large events.

“My goal is always to fill all the Forsyth County hotels first and then reach out to others in surrounding counties as needed,” she said.

She noted that as more events come to Forsyth, there could in turn be an increase in the local hotel market.

Besides athletic tournaments and other large-scale events, Brostrom works with those seeking venues for smaller gatherings such as corporate meetings and weddings.

In her time at the chamber, Brostrom said she has developed new marketing materials to better promote the community.

A full-color brochure, copies of which she gave to authority members, will be featured at Georgia visitor centers.

She also is working to better promote the community on various state Web sites, including those that draw film crews to Georgia.

Another part of her job is fostering large-scale activities, such as the National BBQ Cup, which was held for the first time at the Cumming Fairgrounds in November.

“We already have several teams signed up to come to that event again this year,” she said.

Among other new upcoming draws are a Lockheed Martin hiring event and an Australian festival in the spring.

She said the Lockheed gathering will feature model airplanes designed and constructed by prospective engineers.

They will fly their creations during a festival-type event at an airstrip off Old Federal Road.

The Australian-themed event, called the Down Under Fest, will be held at the Polo Fields.