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The Woodpecker Trail A Feasibility Study for the Woodpecker Trail Rich Harrill, Ph.D. Tourism and Regional Assistance Centers (TRACS)

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Presentation on theme: "The Woodpecker Trail A Feasibility Study for the Woodpecker Trail Rich Harrill, Ph.D. Tourism and Regional Assistance Centers (TRACS)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Woodpecker Trail A Feasibility Study for the Woodpecker Trail Rich Harrill, Ph.D. Tourism and Regional Assistance Centers (TRACS)

2 The Woodpecker Trail Introduction Woodpecker Route Association September 18, 1947 State route 121North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida 620 miles204 miles through Georgia Appling, Brantley, Burke, Candler, Charlton, Emanuel, Jenkins, Pierce, Richmond, and Tattnall

3 The Woodpecker Trail Woodpecker Trail Area

4 The Woodpecker Trail Woodpecker Trail Area

5 The Woodpecker Trail Nature-based Assets Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge George L. Smith II State Park, Gordonia-Alatamaha, Magnolia Springs, Stephen C. Foster State Park Altamaha, Ogeechee, Ohoopee, Satilla, Savannah Rivers

6 The Woodpecker Trail Historic and Cultural Assets Blackshear Civil War Prison, Blackshear Military Road, Confederate Memorial Cemetery, Magnolia Cemetery Appling County Heritage Museum, Augusta Museum of History, Folkston Train Museum, Waynesboro-Burke County Museum, Morris Museum of Art, Pierce County Heritage Museum and Depot

7 The Woodpecker Trail Recreation & Entertainment Assets Augusta Golf and Gardens Folkston Funnel Train-Watching Platform Numerous county parks and public golf courses

8 The Woodpecker Trail Agritourism Assets 766 farms, from wheat production to fish hatcheries Stevens Farm, Collins Cotton Gin, Farm Fresh Tattnall ®, numerous roadside stands and markets Vidalia Sweet Onions ®, pecans, peanuts, cotton, and tobacco, as well as cattle ranches and poultry farms

9 The Woodpecker Trail Tourism Infrastructure 65 lodging establishments 200 dining establishments Relatively high traffic countsBurke, Jenkins, Pierce, Brantley, Charlton; relatively low traffic countsEmanuel, Candler, Tattnall, Appling (GA DOT, 2001) Only six of 10 trail counties have a hotel and motel tax (GDITT, 2001)

10 The Woodpecker Trail Market Niches According to the National Scenic Byways Program (2001), 76 percent of all U.S. travelers like to take the more interesting route, rather than the quickest 57 percent are very likely to take a scenic and historic drive 14 percent of the population are heavy users of byway experiences

11 The Woodpecker Trail Market Niches History buffs and outdoor enthusiasts 35 percent of the traveling population Good match for the amenities offered by the Woodpecker Trail, which are primarily nature-based, historic, and cultural

12 The Woodpecker Trail History Buffs History buffs20 percent of the traveling population Scenic beauty, historic sites, museums, cultural activities, and educational experiences Fewer trips, but longer Retirees and couples without children Magazines, newspapers, brochures, and billboards

13 The Woodpecker Trail Outdoor Enthusiasts Outdoor enthusiasts are younger, upscale families who like outdoor recreation, water activities, natural beauty, and adventure Active and like to stop and enjoy activities along the route Television, Internet, and magazines

14 The Woodpecker Trail Conclusions Major Conclusion #1 The region has sufficient assets to develop the trail. Major Conclusion #2 The strongest niches for the Woodpecker Trail at present are historic and cultural tourism and outdoor recreation.

15 The Woodpecker Trail Conclusions Major Conclusion #3 Because of its regional nature, developing and marketing the trail will require support from all 10 Woodpecker Trail counties. Major Conclusion #4 Nostalgia is an important key to revitalizing the trail.

16 The Woodpecker Trail Conclusions Major Conclusion #5 The Woodpecker Trail Association must have a clear vision of what it wants to achieve. Major Conclusion #6 The Woodpecker Trail is a scenic route through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, not the fastest.

17 The Woodpecker Trail Conclusions Major Conclusion #7 The Woodpecker Trails historic and cultural assets do not equal its natural assets regarding quality of development. Major Conclusion #8 Signage and interpretation must be improved along the trail.

18 The Woodpecker Trail Conclusions Major Conclusion #9 Many attractions along the trail are currently open at irregular days and hours. Major Conclusion #10 The Woodpecker Trail currently lacks varied dining, lodging, and shopping experiences required by the target market segments.

19 The Woodpecker Trail Strategic Planning Propose goals for the Woodpecker Trail. Develop committee structure for the Woodpecker Trail Association. Identify various funding sources for trail development and marketing. Develop marketing materials.

20 The Woodpecker Trail Byway Factors for Success Probably the single most important factor in successful byways development is a person or persons devoted to shepherding the byway into existence.

21 The Woodpecker Trail Byway Factors for Success The second most important factor is participation. Although observers tend to focus on the route itself, a scenic byway is actually a collection of counties and municipalities pooling their time, talent, and resources to reach a common goal.

22 The Woodpecker Trail Byway Factors for Success A third important factor is development of an overall theme for the byway. For new byways, many communities have successfully identified a shared characteristic subsequently used in marketing and promotion.

23 The Woodpecker Trail Byway Factors for Success From the commission of marketing research to the building of facilities, adequate funding is the fourth crucial factor in byways success.

24 The Woodpecker Trail Byway Factors for Success Finally, signage is often an important initial step in byway development, providing a sense of completeness and also enticing the first visitors off the route and into communities.

25 The Woodpecker Trail Contact Rich Harrill, Ph.D. Phone: (803)


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