Red Carpet Tour brings hope to Augusta

Thursday, April 11, 2013 2:53 PM
Last updated 9:21 PM
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Charlie Poe of Nashville, Tenn., shakes hands with a member of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce.  JEFF JANOWSKI/STAFF
JEFF JANOWSKI/STAFF
Charlie Poe of Nashville, Tenn., shakes hands with a member of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Several companies are considering Augusta as a corporate expansion site, state and local business recruiters said Thursday during the annual Red Carpet Tour visit to Augusta National Golf Club.

The companies were not named, but Chris Cummiskey, the economic development commissioner for Georgia, said the field covers a “wide berth” of industries, ranging from life sciences, aerospace and automotive to food processing.

The tour is an economic development effort centered on the Masters Tournament. Since its inception in 1959, the event has generated more than $3.2 billion in state revenue and created more than 15,000 jobs.

Companies enticed to Augusta from the tour in the past include John Deere, Procter & Gamble, Sitel, International Flavors and Fragrances and, most recently, Starbucks, which donated coffee to Thursday’s event in celebration of announcing during last year’s tour that it was opening a $172 million manufacturing plant in Augusta.

“There are a lot of companies we are working with,” Cummiskey said. “The Red Carpet Tour could help us seal the deal.”

The tour draws CEOs from around the world for an all-expenses-paid, invitation-only, four-day trip through Georgia.

In addition to dinner at the Governor’s Mansion in Atlanta and a reception in Athens, tour participants get access to the tournament this year. That’s when local leaders will make their pitch for Augusta.

The tour drew 24 companies in 2009 and 2010 and 27 in 2012. This year 80 people representing 30 prospective businesses attended.

Most participants, Cummiskey said, were working on expansion projects, while others were just starting the conversation.

Either way, Sue Parr, the president of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, said the event is a proven way to tap into the “economic development pipeline.”

“Every year we try to see how we can improve and put our best foot forward,” Parr said. “You only get one shot and we want to make a good first impression.”

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InChristLove
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InChristLove 04/11/13 - 04:26 pm
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I'm curious what a 4 day all

I'm curious what a 4 day all expense paid trip for approximately 30 companies each year cost, not to mention this year, entrance to the Masters Tournament; and out of those 24, 27 companies, how many were impressed enough to invest in this area. Also what is the monetary amount that Augusta has benefited from those companies investing compared to what was paid out to entertain.

countyman
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countyman 04/11/13 - 04:54 pm
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Cause & effect

The recent success includes the $172 million Starbucks plant under construction. The Starbucks development won the 2012 GA Deal of the Year award. The 140 jobs(high paying) will help bring additional companies into the Augusta Corporate Park.

Let's not forget how Starbucks donated $200k towards the mayor's Augusta Regional Collaboration aka ARC.

The ARC presented the city's GRU expansion plans for the 'Downtown Cultural Campus' in the CBD, and 'Mills Campus' in/around Harrisburg.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 04/12/13 - 05:09 am
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Soooo, so far, all we have to

Soooo, so far, all we have to show for all this entertaining is a coffee plant that isn't complete (and you state high paying....can you give us the starting labor's pay). As for helping to bring in other companies, well that remains to be seen. I was looking for something more concrete.

As for $200k for the ARC for the CRU in the CBD......Whew...I need another cup of coffee....

On another note......what happen to your "music park" countryman that was going at the corner of Hwy 25 and Phinsey Rd? Promises, Promises.....

countyman
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countyman 04/12/13 - 10:49 am
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''Companies enticed to

''Companies enticed to Augusta from the tour in the past include John Deere, Procter & Gamble, Sitel, International Flavors and Fragrances and, most recently, Starbucks.''

I only mentioned Starbucks because it's the most recent one. Do you really think Starbucks won't attract nothing? I believe Georgia Power has identified an 13 acre property in the Corporate Park.

The $200k went to the ARC project which help come up with the 'Downtown Cultural Campus' and 'Mill Campus'. Only one of the campuses are located in the CBD, and the other in Harrisburg. Don't you think the GRU expansion willl tremendously benefit Augusta? Do you like having vacant properties(i.e two large mills) instead of vibrant buildings?

My music park? I'm not the developer behind that project.

You don

Riverman1
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Riverman1 04/12/13 - 03:12 pm
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As with most things like the

As with most things like the Red Carpet tour, they are often misused with the people actually coming to the events only being vaguely related to the decision makers. Still, if it only results in one new industry every few years, it's worth it.

countyman
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countyman 04/12/13 - 07:08 pm
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My screen name is Countyman

My screen name is Countyman and not Countryman.

Okay, but when do I promote a Chick Fil A in South Augusta.

I hope you're not confusing me saying one is coming in the future, with actual construction plans.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 04/12/13 - 07:59 pm
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My apologies

My apologies Countyman, it was an honest typo and was not done to be insulting.

No you didn't promise a Chick-fil-a but like everything else you highly promoted it and we in South Augusta still haven't seen much change in this area in the past several years. I believe (if my research is correct) that it was back in 2010 or possibly early 2011 when you promoted our areas development and as of today in 2013 not much has changed.

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