Monkey Minute

I love surveys.  I’m not sure why, but with the number of them out there (Nielsen or Gallup, anyone?), obviously I’m in good company.  This morning, I participated in the most important one in a while—and we’d like for you to take a look at it, too.

Now, what does this have to do with Sumter tourism?  It’s actually more than you may think.  Although many of us do what we do because we love it, the bottom line is that tourism is an industry, and just as important to the economy as agriculture, manufacturing, and services.  In fact, according to the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, Sumter’s tourism industry is directly responsible for almost $76 million to our local economy and supports more than 700 jobs in the area—and those numbers are up more than 11% over last year’s.  If you think about it, eleven percent is a pretty good return on any investment!

What brings all these people to Sumter?  Our parks and gardens, sports tournaments, festivals and events, culture, history and weather all play a major role.  But one extremely crucial factor is accessibility.  We have to be reachable (and our location right in the middle of South Carolina gives us a major advantage), and we have to support that accessibility with good infrastructure.  No matter how wonderful a place may be, if it’s hard to get around, people won’t come back. 

And that’s where you come in.  The Sumter Urban Area Transportation Study Metropolitan Planning Organization (which is some mouthful, so we just call it SUATS is hosting an interactive workshop to look at our transportation systems as they are now, and to plan for the future.  Topics will include road improvements, traffic safety, biking and walking trails, sidewalks, and other issues.  Your input is extremely important to us.  This public workshop will be held on Thursday, September 27, 2012 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the City Centre, located at 25 N. Main Street (next door to the Sumter Opera House).  The Planning Department would love to see you there!

Whether you can make it or not, you can help by completing a brief (less than ten minutes) survey.  Please click here.  Questions?  Please contact Allan Yu at the Sumter City-County Planning Department, (803) 774-1612 or

And the answer to a really obvious question?  Well, the questionnaire is hosted by SurveyMonkey!  Got your attention, too, didn’t it?

Now—click that link, and help us to make Sumter not only a more attractive place for visitors, but a safer and better community for our citizens!

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