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Tuesday February 9th, 2016 1:01AM

JMA learns Olympic Venue promises big revenue

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
LULA - Hall County's city officials Monday night gathered at Jaemor Farms, one of the area's largest tourist and visitor attractions, to learn at their Joint Municipal Association meeting that upcoming events at the Olympic Venue at Clarks Bridge Park should mean big dollars.<br /> <br /> That projection came from Gainesville/Hall '96 Director Morgan House, who said his group now manages the entire complex on both sides of Clarks Bridge Road; Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan agreed.<br /> <br /> "Every one that has anything to do with rowing and kayaking says we've got the best venue in the United States," the Mayor said. "We're just trying to capitalize on that. It's a huge tourism attraction."<br /> <br /> House told his audience that he has offered bids to bring in even larger future events, including a global Dragon Boat race and the Pan American Games, a prelude event to the Olympics.<br /> <br /> House said he expected the 2014 USA Canoe/Kayak Sprint National Championships and USA Canoe/Kayak Masters National Championships this weekend would draw thousands of people. He said the venue would be in good shape, including the restrooms, responding to an audience comment that they were not in good shape at a past event.<br /> <br /> The City of Lula and Mayor Milton Turner hosted the JMA meeting; Turner said Jaemor Farms was an appropriate location.<br /> <br /> "That's the reason why we wanted to do tourism up here because we know that Jaemor Farms is the largest in Hall County in agri-tourism and maybe number one other than the lake," Turner said. "<br /> <br /> During their update tourism officials said visitor stays and revenues were much larger compared to surrounding counties. Both Stacey Dickson with Hall County's Convention and Visitors Bureau and Deb Gregson with the newly formed Gainesville CVB said room rents and occupancy rates were up, and Hall County ranks 12th in tourism in Georgia.<br /> <br /> Dickson pointed out partnerships and alliances with various groups including Atlanta television and the Braves featuring activities at Lake Lanier. She said Hall is ranked among the first 15 'camera ready' counties in the state by the Georgia Film Commission with a number of local film projects.
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