100 Years of Advancing Destinations

A Message From Columbia, SC

Author: Guest Bill Ellen, President & CEO, Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism – Columbia, S.C.
Posted: October 30, 2015
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It’s been an emotional couple of weeks for Columbia due to the recent flooding, as you might imagine. But, like in any natural disaster, there are also incredible stories of kindness, resiliency and strength. 

One such act of kindness came from our friends at Visit Baton Rouge. You may have heard that the University of S.C. was scheduled to host the LSU football team on the Saturday following the flood. For obvious reasons, the game was moved to Baton Rouge. What happened next touched so many people in Columbia and throughout South Carolina. We are all in the business of rolling out the red carpet, but the Visit Baton Rouge team truly defines what hospitality means. Thank you, Paul. You and your team are first class.

Difficult times can also show the important role we, as destination marketers, play in the community. Our destination’s tagline is Famously Hot, a cheeky play on both our summer heat and the city’s ongoing renaissance. It wasn’t long after the rain stopped that community members adapted our logo and tagline to read Famously Strong, which quickly went viral on social media. It was a humbling moment that clearly articulated how our branding not only promotes our communities, but rallies them in a time of need.

Bill Ellen
President & CEO
Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism – Columbia, S.C.

Current Conditions in Columbia and South Carolina

The visitor experience is “back online”, so to speak, in Columbia. Our downtown hospitality districts saw little to no long range damage and all meeting facilities, hotels, restaurants and attractions are open. All major roads into the city, including interstates, are open. Destinations throughout the state are open and ready to welcome visitors.


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