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GRCVB streamlines local tourism market with sports commission, procedures

Posted June 20, 2014 by Kristi Kent in News

Friday, June 20, 2014

Rome Sports Commission Contact:
Ann Hortman, director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GRCVB streamlines local tourism market with sports commission, procedures

Rome, Ga.—The Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) recently announced the establishment of the Rome Sports Commission, the sports tourism branch of Rome-Floyd County’s official destination marketing organization, and named Ann Hortman as the director.

“[Hortman] is the perfect fit because of her determination and drive, with her years of organizing events and travel, passion for people and truly believing her role as a public servant with a servant heart to care for all visitors made her the perfect person to take the newly created position,” exclaimed Lisa Smith, GRCVB executive director.

“Sports and events continue to be the greatest tourism draw in Rome & Floyd County. Our outstanding venues – from Barron Stadium to State Mutual Stadium; our many ball fields, trails and tennis courts, allows us to be the perfect host to many sports. But it’s our unrivaled southern hospitality that bring people back again and again,” said Ann Hortman, Rome Sports Commission director.

“Sports tourism is a natural fit for Rome & Floyd County, and our local partners get it! Tennis tournaments are a great example. The recent USTA Georgia Adult League Championships brought more than 700 players to Rome for 4 days, with an estimated economic impact of over $357,000. When the new Tennis Center of Georgia is built, the economic impact on our community will multiply exponentially. The previous $3.1 million improvements to Barron Stadium are another great example of our community “buying into” sports tourism. Hosting events such as the NAIA Football National Championship, NCCAA Victory Bowl, NCCAA National Track & Field Championships plus high school and collegiate football, track & field and lacrosse creates a lasting impact on Rome & Floyd County and will continue to grow. Our established partnerships with Shorter University and Berry College athletics open the door for Rome to host prestigious NCAA events. Having Shorter in Division II and Berry in Division III doubles our opportunities to host conference, regional and even national championships,” said Hortman.

In addition, the Rome Sports Commission announced the adoption of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for sports and special events in Rome & Floyd County, and subsequent approval by the Rome City Commission earlier this year.

“Rome continues to be a magnet for cycling and running events – and these type events directly impact our roadways and right of ways. From our success with hosting Tour de Georgia there was already a protocol in place. The agencies who locally organized Tour de Georgia were very instrumental in creating the new SOP and protocol. Event planners and organizers that wish to utilize our public spaces submit an application to the Rome Sports Commission which is then reviewed by the Special Events Review Committee. This committee is comprised of city, county, public safety and public works and administration. Depending on the scope of the event, other agencies such as EMA, GA DOT, the Sheriff’s Department, etc—may be called in to review the application,” said Hortman.

“The adoption and announcement by the Board of Directors of the Sports Commission, Hortman as Director and a comprehensive SOP Manual has been years in the making and follows the natural progression of where the GRCVB organization has positioned itself in the state and beyond in sports travel,” said Smith.

The GRCVB and the Rome Sports Commission were recognized earlier this year with the SportsEvents Reader’s Choice Award of Excellence for “exhibiting outstanding professionalism, creativity, and dedication in the sports event planning industry.” The GRCVB was previously honored by the industry publication with this accolade in 2011.

“This award speaks for our entire community and their dedication for giving Rome and Floyd County a stellar reputation for our professionalism and exceptional Southern style service,” said Hortman.

The Rome Sports Commission received this award alongside the Savannah Sports Council, the only two entities from the state of Georgia to make the list. A complete list of winners can be found online at

In 2013, sports tourism accounted for over 43 percent of the business in Floyd County with which the GRCVB was directly involved in the planning, coordination and assistance, an economic impact totaling $4,516,826.00. Sports events that contributed to this figure were football, track & field, softball, tennis, cycling, soccer, gymnastics, basketball, wrestling, running and triathlons.

To find out more about the GRCVB, Rome Sports Commission, and tourism in Rome and Floyd County, visit and, or call 800.444.1834.


The Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) is the official destination and sports marketing organization of Rome and Floyd County, Ga. The mission of the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau and Rome Sports Commission is to strengthen the economic prosperity of the community through tourism development while delivering unrivaled southern hospitality and providing the visitor a memorable experience.


About the Author

Our Georgia's Rome tourism team works hard to curate content to help you discover and explore our beautiful town! We want to ensure our content is up-to-date and accurate; so please let us know if we ever overlook an important detail! This post was originally written by Kristi Kent and is updated by staff.

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