LABA discusses WEG preparation

Published 3:19 pm Thursday, February 8, 2018

LANDRUM – “If they park at Ingles, they’ll get on 26 and leave,” said Mindy Wiener at the Landrum Area Business meeting Tuesday February 6. “What about the parking lot at Fred’s or a church?’

Wiener made this suggestion during a discussion about preparations for the World Equestrian Games (WEG) coming in September. Landrum City Clerk Rita Bruce addressed the LABA meeting, giving a report from a recent meeting sponsored by Polk County Travel and Tourism.

Bruce said the meeting included a discussion about a possible parking location for the WEG event somewhere in Landrum. If so, there would be a shuttle to and from the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) venue in Mill Spring. Any parking area in Landrum would require at least 100 spaces.

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In addition to the parking issue, Bruce said the tourism board suggested the area towns begin “sprucing up” for the event. She said TIEC has decided to have evening events on site during the games, however these events will require additional ticket purchases.

“That may drive some people to leave,” said Bruce. “We need to attract them here.”

“They [the tourism board] suggested spiffing up the businesses, fixing up planters, cleaning the streets and repairing sidewalks,” she said.

Other suggestions included area restaurants and coffee shops extending their hours for the event, having drink specials or signature dishes. “They also suggested using the WEG colors to decorate the towns by planting flower boxes and hanging banners. Restaurants can have napkins made in the WEG colors which are blue and gold,” Bruce said. “Putting menus in windows is another idea.”

“We may also get a seat in the media tent,” Bruce said. “It [the person filling the seat] would need to be someone who knows the area really well. Someone who knows where the vets and the horse supply stores and everything are.”

The World Equestrian Games will be held at TIEC September 11 – 23. Event promoters project attendance to be as high as 500,000.