EDC officials say Georgia Quail hunt a huge success

ALBANY -- The head of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission touted last week's annual quail hunt as "one of the best" the organization has had in recent years.

The Georgia Quail Hunt is one of the state's top economic development events and is meant to entice business leaders from around the country to relocate or expand their businesses in Georgia.

The 2012 Quail Hunt had more guests -- 28 -- than previous events and incorporated a new facet, dinner by the Flint River at Riverfront Park downtown, that apparently struck the fancies of some of those in attendance.

"The atmosphere down by the river was just awesome," Bobby McKinney, the interim president of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, said.

Since the event started in 1994, state economists say that roughly $2.6 billion in economic investment has come from the event.

Locally, the event snared Coats & Clark executives who, after the hunt, decided to consolidate their worldwide distribution hub to an expanded facility in Albany.

EDC officials renewed their call for applications for nominees for the area's top industry leaders.

The awards are a part of Albany-Dougherty Industry Celebration Week. The nomination forms, which are available through the EDC's website at choosealbany.com, have to be submitted no later than March 9.

Awards, including the Good Life City Award, will be given in various categories including Global Commerce and economic impact.

The week is an opportunity for officials to acknowledge the considerable contributions made by existing local industries.

"Existing industries are critical to local economies, and in Albany/Dougherty County we're fortunate to have an industrial diversity that represents health care, defense, logistics, manufacturing and professional services," Clem said in a press release posted on the EDC's website. "We're proud of our industries, and our weeklong Industry Celebration Week is a great way to recognize and promote their successes."