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Chehaw Park receives tourism grant

ALBANY -- Officials with Chehaw Park said they hope a recent Co-Op Marketing Reimbursement Grant they received from the Georgia Tourism Department will attract more holiday-spirited out-of-town visitors to the Good Life City.

The grant funds are to be used to further tourism to the Albany area during the holiday season through Chehaw's annual Festival of Lights, said Deidra Langstaff of Langstaff Marketing.

"The goal of this grant is to bring people from other parts of the state to Albany for tourism," she said. "We are trying to get people to come and enjoy the Festival of Lights and then stay the night in Albany and visit other local attractions."

The $12,430 marketing grant must be used during Chehaw's Festival of Lights program, which runs Nov. 27-Jan. 2.

Doug Porter, Chehaw executive director, said park officials applied for the reimbursement grant during September.

"What we are hoping for is to make Albany a destination for tourism," he said. "This grant gives us an opportunity to expand our marketing to other areas."

Porter said the Festival of Lights is one of many Chehaw programs that are tourism related. The grant will be used to fund advertising for the program in areas such as Macon.

"We are excited to broaden our market," he said, adding the grant will be used to fund advertisements in various media.

Porter said the grant will give Chehaw Park a chance to see if broadening its market will be successful.

"If it is successful, we will continue to advertise to those areas," he said. "It is always risky to go outside your market and spend money on advertising. This gives us a chance to do that without risking funds."