CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Opinion

May 2, 2014

EDITORIAL: GSC teams a boost to area

Cullman is full of a lot of new faces this week as the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference Softball Championship unfolds at Heritage Park.

Officials with the Cullman Parks and Recreation Department anticipate up to 6,000 visitors in the area during the tournament, which concludes Saturday with the championship game.

For the GSC teams, Cullman’s Heritage Park provides the type of setting needed for fielding a college playoff series. The conference looked at various locations but settled on Cullman’s facilities as the best-suited for the event.

For the Cullman area, a tournament involving high-profile college teams from throughout the region presents a unique opportunity for a healthy rush of business today — and tomorrow.

Hotels and restaurants are likely to be the big winners in the business community this week where dollars are concerned. Nonetheless, if all goes well this tournament could become a fixture for the area. If that happens, the planning across the community could provide these players and their fans with an annual experience they will long remember.

Anytime visitors arrive for special events, the entire community has an opportunity to showcase a variety of features. When that happens, the chance that those visitors will return often greatly increases.

Landing the GSC’s softball championship is a tremendous success for the parks and recreation department. The tournament opens a lot of doors for area businesses and those who promote the cultural heritage of Cullman County.

In recent years, the Cullman area has become the host for some major events such as Rock the South and a national archery tournament. Soon the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame will become a permanent member of the community.

Drawing the GSC universities to Cullman for the season’s softball championship is the foundation for even more events to land in the area. The ability to bring tournaments and other events to Cullman allows local community and government leaders to send a positive message home with visitors about the character and attraction of the local area.

The investment in recreation and a commitment to community-wide planning will continue to make Cullman’s place on the map larger. The door is opening wider for measured growth that ensures greater investments and growth throughout the area.

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