Golf car tours could be coming downtown; increasing tourism and economic growth

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– “Visitors in Augusta mean dollars,” Jennifer Bowen, Vice President of Destination Development at the Augusta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said.

She is working to transform Augusta’s downtown streets while catapulting economic growth.

Last year, the C.V.B. unveiled a five to 10 year master plan to boost tourism. The C.V.B. teamed with the Augusta Arts Council and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to make it happen.

“This a three-legged stool for an over-arching plan called “Destination Blueprint” hat contains arts, culture, events, festivals and other products to help Augusta become a place visitors really want to come to,” Bowen told NewsChannel 6.

Some parts of “Destination Blueprint” are already in motion, like the push to make golf car tours legal on the Golf Car Manufacturing Capitol’s downtown streets.

“It could be that we develop a tour about arts and culture,” Bowen explained. “It could be that you actually take an architectural tour.”

The city will benefit from the tours due to increased visitor spending.

Also in the works, a new visitor’s center in the heart of downtown Augusta. The C.V.B. has purchased a building on Broad Street that is set to open by 2019.

Bowen said we should see other “Destination Blueprint” projects pop up in the next few years… like the “River Destination Center.”

“It is suggesting we build out into the Savannah River with an area that allows people to finally access the river,” She explained.

And expanding the Augusta Common to the river, adding commercial development alongside green space.

But for now, Bowen’s focus is golf cars: What we can expect to see first: “This is what makes Augusta unique. If you should hop on a golf car or PTV anywhere in the world, it should be here. And it would really create a great experience.”

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