“It’s going terrific,” said Michael Starr, president of the Georgia Cities Foundation, soon after the bus arrived in Griffin. “We were up in Senoia for our first stop in the tour.”
He described the welcome to Griffin as “impressive,” including the police escort for the bus.
He then said many people are interested in Griffin because it is in the midst of revitalizing its downtown and people want to see what has been accomplished so far. One of the things he planned to do during his visit to Griffin was get an idea of the city’s vision for its downtown. He added that the Georgia Cities Foundation has contributed financially to the renovation of the Griffin Hotel.
“What we’re looking to see is how much that would be another impetus for the revitalization of other areas around the hotel,” he said.
He believes Griffin is well-positioned to benefit from the growth on the south side of metro Atlanta.
The Griffin High School band welcomed the visitors to the Griffin Regional Welcome Center with music.
Bill Thielemann, this year’s General Griffin, rode with the delegation from Senoia.
“We showed a video about Griffin,” he said, describing the ride in.
He spoke about Griffin’s industries, the University of Georgia-Griffin campus and, more particularly, the $10 million raised using the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax to pay for the new Student Learning Center.
Then he focused on downtown, what is being done and how it’s being done.
After they arrived in Griffin, members of the delegation visited the Griffin Hotel, Liberty Technology and the redeveloped Coca-Cola bottling plant.
Griffin Special Projects Coordinator Vicki Hyatt took one group from the Welcome Center to Liberty Technology before visiting the Griffin Hotel and taking the bus to the redeveloped Coca-Cola bottling plant.
“It went really well,” she said. “Very well-received.”
She said the delegation was impressed with the progress Griffin has made.
George Heery Jr., a board member of the Georgia Cities Foundation, enjoyed the tour as well.
“It’s been great,” he said.