ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA)–Anderson County has seen $3 million in economic impact in the last 13 weeks, that’s thanks to a lot of action on their waterways.
The county said the 56,000 acres of Lake Hartwell, has helped them surf through the pandemic, the last few weeks.
“Fishing tournaments have really given us a huge shot in the arm in our county’s economy. In the past 13 weeks, we have hosted $3 million in fishing tournaments and the anglers in these tournaments, filled 5,000 hotel room nights,” said Glenn Brill, Director of Anderson County Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Division.
Anderson County said they see the revenue when visitors pay accommodation tax, and the city sees it in hospitality taxes.
“If you look at state accommodations tax collections, we’re doing a lot better than pretty much any other destination in South Carolina, because so much of our tourism is outside,” Brill said.
That’s why Tyler Altizer continues to travel from Virginia, to participate in fishing tournaments. He is working with high schoolers as they compete in a high school competition this weekend.
“I just love it down here and I love how everybody in the town gets together and just promotes the fishing,” Altizer said.
Brill said last year, the tourism division collected $100,000 less than usual, because of the pandemic.
“Certainly one of the departments in my division is the Civic Center of Anderson, and we’ve been shut down since basically, the beginning of March,” Brill said. “There are a number of events that we would normally host that would put heads in beds that just can’t happen because it’s inside. So that’s why we’re so blessed to have Lake Hartwell and Green Pond Landing being outside. It enables us to still host events that put heads in beds, and bring money into our county’s economy,” Brill explained.
Despite cancellations, Brill said recent traction on the waterways is bringing some relief.
“Tourism is one of the top ten industries in terms of economic impact in Anderson County. So to have a top ten industry not as handicapped as it is in some other counties, that are more dependent on indoor events, has really helped us a lot during the pandemic,” Brill said.
So each time you see a visiting angler at a restaurant, gas station, or shopping at a store, think of them as huge contributors who keep the county swimming during difficult times.
“It feels great because we’ve always been welcomed here and it’s nice to be able to help everybody out here, and we’re all social distance here, and we get to help bring some money to the town. I just love it,” Altizer said.
Anderson County will host both the FLW College and High School Fishing Tournaments (two separate tournaments), this weekend.