Georgia’s evolving industry brings opportunity to many cities; Rome especially
Our state’s film industry has evolved over the past decade into an economic engine, bringing in business opportunities and creating job growth for Rome’s residents and local entrepreneurs.
The economic impact is dramatic. In just one month in 2015, Rome saw nearly $1.5 million of direct impact on our community.
That figure includes hotel spending, salaries for extras, props purchased locally, location fees, and salary paid to police and security detail.
Collateral spending creates an economic impact above and beyond the millions spent in Rome that can be tracked directly to the film industry. These include all of the additional services and purchases made by cast and crew to restaurants, nail salons, theaters, dry cleaners, retailers and improvements made to existing infrastructure.
“King Cotton” was the first movie filmed in Rome in 1910. Since then we’ve hosted countless commercials and catalogue shoots and at least 50 movie productions and television series filmed in Rome’s diverse locations.
Rome’s leaders should do everything possible to protect Georgia’s film tax credit, not only for the overall impact on our city and county, but for the opportunity it provides our small businesses.
Opportunities abound for local businesses from these shoots. Shrimp Boat, owned by local Daniel Payne, saw it’s best year from the boost that two days serving the cast and crew of “Megan Leavey” gave to his bottom line.
Prop and set purchases benefit big box retailers like Home Depot and local stores like River City Antique Mall. Hotels get a boost from cast and crew who stay in town. Our local B&B gem, Claremont House, has been used as a set location for several shoots.
Our wide diversity of filming locations includes many historic buildings and sites like Bob Moore Bridge. When the bridge was used for the HBO series “Hep and Leonard” the crew removed all of the old wood siding and replaced it with new wood. The updated bridge looks beautiful. The “Sweet Home Alabama” production made improvements to Magretta Hall and Coosa Country Club that spurred later renovations. The Floyd County Courthouse was also given a facelift.
When the film industry comes to Rome, they leave it better than they found it. It’s hard to quantify all of the infrastructure improvements we’ve gained from film productions.
“I don’t know anyone in Georgia that goes out of their way to assist with film production as much as the folks at the Greater Rome CVB do. But that’s not surprising, as everyone I’ve met in Floyd County, from people on the street to their city officials, are as friendly and helpful as they can be, and are very welcoming to the film industry,” said Michael Colford, location manager of “If Loving You is Wrong.”
We do everything we can to make filming in Rome easy. It just makes sense for our community.
Lisa Smith is the Executive Director for the Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism.