Leaders show what York Co. has to offer
Giant trees sparkled throughout Carowinds Friday as Mrs. Clause and dressed-up elves welcomed legislators from across South Carolina and their families to York County.
The 2018 York County Day at Carowinds was the second time the event has been held in the actual county, instead of Columbia, state Rep. Gary Simrill (RYork County) said.
“For those of us who live here, everyday is York County Day,” Simrill said. “But typically, and traditionally, York County Day was held in Columbia. So folks from York County would come to Columbia and show off and showcase what is good about York County — but the best way to sell York County is to see York County.”
State officials including Gov. Henry McMaster, Speaker of the House Rep. James Lucas (RDarlington), and director of South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism Duane Parrish attended the Carowinds event Friday.
Pat Jones of Carowinds said the event was a chance for legislators to see the best parts of Carowinds.
“We are a place where family and friends can come together and spend a great deal of time together in fellowship, having a great time decorating a cookie, watching some lights, riding a carriage ride,” Jones said. “…That’s what we think our core is.”
York County Day co-chairperson Amanda Stewart said
York County is a growing county that is bringing revenue to the state.
“We’re really proud to be located here in South Carolina,” Stewart said. “And to be actively involved in state affairs and to contribute much to our region and particularly to our state, in revenue and in other ways.”
Stewart played short video highlighting some of York County’s best features, including a “quaint Main Street,” proximity to Charlotte, natural recreation areas, and Carowinds.
“(Carowind is) unique because it was built on the state border so it’s South Carolina, North Carolina,” Simrill said. “We always say the good rides are on the South Carolina side. But it shows, partnering together what we can make of that. But obviously South Carolina is a tremendous asset to the nation and York County is a tremendous asset to South Carolina.”
The video also highlighted the $29.9 million economic impact brought from the 2017 UCI BMX World Championship in Rock Hill.
2017’s York County Day was held July 26, 2017 during that world championship at the Rock Hill BMX Supercross Track.
Then-Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols said at the time that the international event, held at the city’s Riverwalk development had exceeded expectations.
“My hope is we’ve got people who want to move here, people who want to move their businesses here,” Echols said in 2017.
Simrill said highlighting Carowinds for the next year’s York County Day was an obvious move. Both parks bring in major tourism revenue, which Simrill says the county hopes to encourage.
“You usually think about when you go somewhere, you go to the coast and you go to the mountains,” he said. “Well, York County really is the pinnacle of South Carolina and we want to showcase it today.”