Tourism group to take over promotion of downtown Salisbury

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SALISBURY — The Rowan County and Salisbury tourism authorities will take over promotion and marketing of downtown Salisbury, leaders agreed today.
Downtown Salisbury Inc. will remain intact, and Executive Director Randy Hemann will focus more of his efforts on economic development and business recruitment.
Hemann and the downtown board of directors supported the change.
“It’s a win-win,” Hemann said.
The agreement further broadens the scope of the tourism groups, which last year took over the Rowan Arts Council.
Betz McKeown, an employee of Downtown Salisbury Inc., will work for the tourism authorities starting July 1. Downtown Salisbury will continue to fund half her salary, with tourism picking up the balance.
McKeown will continue to plan and promote 14 annual events, including Night Out, which bring more than 20,000 people to downtown Salisbury.
She will take a more active role in the arts community and serve as the support staff person at the Rowan County Convention and Visitors Bureau for the Rowan Arts Council.
The city and county tourism authorities met jointly this morning, where members unanimously approved bringing on a new employee to promote downtown Salisbury and market arts and culture throughout Rowan County.
The change avoids duplication of marketing efforts by the tourism authority and Downtown Salisbury Inc., said Mark Lewis, chairman for the Salisbury Tourism Development Authority.
“When the TDA became such a marketing and promotion powerhouse, it made sense for us not to have duplicated efforts in two different organizations,” Lewis said.
The city and county tourism authorities each collect a 3 percent tax on hotel rooms. The two groups work closely together.
Read more in Friday’s Post.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.