The Chamber’s Tourism Department exists to increase visitor investment in Forsyth County. The capstones of the department’s efforts are the amateur sports market and the film industry. Recruitment of film productions and amateur sporting tournaments to Forsyth County result in positive economic impacts through hotel taxes, sales taxes on visitor purchases and increased opportunities for local businesses.
The Chamber’s Director of Tourism, Michelle Daniels, created the Film Forsyth initiative, to highlight Forsyth County as a “Camera Ready” community. The goal of this new initiative is to offer support to the film industry and create a one stop resource for film productions. This includes assistance in location scouting, providing support to film productions who need guidance on securing lodging, permits and introductions to local businesses who support the industry. The buzz about Film Forsyth spread in 2019. Last year the county hosted eight TV and Motion Picture productions, including the Netflix series Ozark, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, Teenage Bounty Hunters and the CBS series MacGyver. Additionally, the Forsyth County School System played host for the first time ever to a feature movie that filmed at Denmark High School.
In the sports market, Michelle’s efforts contributed to recruiting the Georgia Youth Soccer State Cup to Forsyth County, drawing more than 150 teams for a state-wide soccer championship. As a result, Forsyth County will host this state tournament for the foreseeable future. Michelle also assisted in bringing back the Triple Crown USA Softball Tournament to the community in 2019 after organizers had previously hosted the tournament in Forsyth County in 2018. This is the first time this organization has hosted a national event in the same location in consecutive years, drawing 170 teams to compete for a national championship. Triple Crown USA’s attraction to the community is an example of the outstanding facilities and services the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department has to offer as well as the increasing amenities the community provides to the organizers, players and families traveling to the area year after year.
To further elevate Forsyth County’s presence in these target markets, Michelle also led a year-long initiative to rebrand the Chamber’s Tourism Department. She researched worldwide tourism brand leaders, surveyed community stakeholders, business owners, and key event planners who had produced large-scale events in the community to gather an assessment of what Forsyth County’s destination identity looked like. With assistance from the Chamber’s Tourism Advisory Committee, Mayor Troy Brumbalow, representatives from the Forsyth County School System, county commissioners and a marketing firm specializing in destination branding, Michelle used this data to select a new logo, tagline and begin website development.
This year will see the launch of this new Discover FOCO brand with a full rollout of new marketing elements including a stand-alone website dedicated to tourism in Forsyth County, a new and improved visitor guide and a digital media campaign.
Discover FOCO is a new chapter in Forsyth County’s tourism industry and Michelle’s vision for this new brand is becoming a reality. With resources that are easy to navigate and user friendly, visitors will have access to all the adventure options available while visiting Forsyth County. This includes showcasing local hospitality-related businesses, a guide highlighting incredible local amenities, a calendar of upcoming events and a blog to featuring restaurants, breweries, shopping and more! The blog posts will feature a team of local experts contributing their insights on all the adventures Forsyth County has to offer. With all of these resources in the pipeline, 2020 is the year for residents and visitors alike to Discover FOCO! To learn more about Discover FOCO e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.