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Perry creates council to lure in sporting events | News

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Perry creates council to lure in sporting events


The folks in one Central Georgia town say sports can dump money into the area coffers.

Perry has just formed a sports council.

The 12-member voluntary board will actively go after fun events to show off the area and bring recognition to town known for dogwoods.

Sandi Smeltzer works with the Perry Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. She recently took on a big project.

"We're going to have to introduce Middle Georgia to Perry and the rest of the nation," she said with a smile.

The folks in Perry say it's time to actively recruit events to set up shop.

With a beginning budget of $3,000, they've created a sports council.

"We're looking at things such as the Color Run or the Spartan Race or tennis tournaments," Smeltzer said. "Well, we just want to have some skin in the game. There's the Georgia High School that could bring high school events here."

This is the brainchild of Smeltzer. She just moved here from Savannah.

"They have the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon come in and that was such a huge impact on the city and it just made me realize that we need that here," she said.

But she's also realistic about those needs.

Perry won't pursue an actual team.

"Yeah, that's not a goal of ours," Smeltzer exclaimed.

And there are some other strikes against them that the council will have to overcome to lure in those races, games, or competitions.

"We don't have an International Airport, a lot of those events aren't going to be a goof fit for us," she said.

But they're confident something will pop.

"As soon as we get our first event, then word of mouth comes in and you can get repeat clients come back annually," Smeltzer said. For instance, in Columbus, Georgia, they host a cheerleading event every year, so we want to be a player in the game. "

Smeltzer says at the end of this month they're going to do a trade show of sorts where they have 31 meetings already set up. But these things take time. Don't expect the Perry Sports Council to bring in an event in until 2016 or 2017.


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