Local News

June 29, 2014

Dalton makes magazine’s list of ‘Southern Hospitality’ cities

Hilton Head. St. Augustine. Huntsville. And Dalton.

What do these cities have in common?

They were among 16 cities named by Convention South magazine as its “Southern Hospitality Cities 2014,” which the magazine defines as places where convention groups can find “quintessential Southern charm.”

Brett Huske, executive director of the Dalton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), says he’s very happy Dalton made the list.

“Convention South is one of the major publications for the Southeast region meetings business,” Huske said. “For the last year plus (since Huske also took over as director of the trade center) we have a renewed focus on the meetings market for groups outside Dalton and even outside Georgia. We want to attract groups that will stay in our hotels. That, in turn, generates business for our restaurants and shops.”

According to the magazine’s website, the 16 cities were selected based on:

• Attractive, clean and safe tourism areas and community pride.

• Historical tourism areas and attractions.

• High service standards, politeness and a welcoming atmosphere.

• Unique yet authentic attractions, restaurants and shopping.

• Helpful visitors bureau that’s group minded.

Huske says he’s pleased, but not too surprised, that Dalton made the list.

“I’ve lived here a little over two and a half years and been working here over four and a half years and one of the things that has always impressed me is that everyone is so friendly and helpful and hospitable,” he said. “It’s great to see that being seen by visitors and that they are telling others about us.”

Huske said the CVB agreed last year to buy four full-page ads in Convention South starting last fall and running through this year at a cost of $2,544 per ad. But he says he doesn’t believe that affected the editor’s selection of Dalton for the list.

“It’s probably fair to say that if you aren’t advertising with them, you may not be on their radar,” he said. “But there are a lot of destinations advertising with them. A lot of destinations I’m sure that are spending more than we are. And they didn’t make the list. I’m pretty sure the major players in Georgia such as Macon, Columbus, Athens, Augusta are advertisers. But we are the only city in the state that made the list.”

Dalton City Council member Gary Crews says making the list should help keep Dalton on the minds of those planning conventions.

“When those folks come they not only pay our hotel/motel tax, they eat in our restaurants and buy things and pay our sales tax. But they don’t put a lot of demands on our services,” he said. “This really shows that we are doing well, and I think it speaks well for the job that Brett and the folks at the CVB and the trade center are doing.”


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