ALBANY, Ga. — While it may not get the attention of the Quail Albany Celebrity Conservation Hunt that’s held in the country’s quail-hunting capital each year, state economic leaders say the state Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Georgia Quail Hunt has a much broader-reaching impact.
More than $2 billion in direct economic development is hard to argue with.
Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission President Ted Clem said Wednesday the 25th Georgia Hunt, held earlier this month, has generated direct interest in the Albany area.
“We’ve got a couple of leads on projects already that came directly from the hunt,” Clem said after the EDC’s monthly board meeting. “Our staff has also met and talked with state economic development leaders to thank them for their support during the hunt, and some of them have indicated they’d like to come here and talk with us further.”
Discussion of the hunt came during board member Chris Hatcher’s report on the EDC’s Recruitment Committee meeting. County Administrator Richard Crowdis said during the discussion that local citizens tend to minimize the hunt’s impact.
“Its only peer is the Masters (golf tournament) in Augusta,” Crowdis said. “People here have a tendency to be underwhelmed, but the state of Georgia hosts only two of these events.”
Albany has directly benefited from the hunt in the last four years, enticing Outdoor Network and a Coats & Clark expansion here after executives from both companies attended the hunt.
Clem told board members efforts to reach a lease agreement on office space at the Riverfront Resource Center on Pine Avenue had remained fruitless. “We’ve been unable to completely bridge the gap where the board’s guidance is and where the property owners are,” Clem said.
To move negotiations forward, Clem asked for a volunteer committee of four to take a look at the property after Wednesday’s meeting. Crowdis, EDC Chairman Jay Smith and city of Albany board members Christopher Pike and Milan Patel volunteered to view the property.
Clem said he’d ask the board to OK a finalized offer to take to the property owners at the EDC’s March meeting.
EDC Director of Marketing and Existing Industries Barbara Rivera Holmes told the board existing industry will be honored at a Rise ‘n’ Shine Breakfast April 10 and at a Business After Hours the following evening.