The study suggested visual gateways needed to be improved in the county.
A number of City of Greenwood, Town of Ninety Six, Greenwood County, SCDOT and National Park Service representatives were in attendance Monday as the first of the county's new wayfinding signs was presented. The sign is at the corner of Cambridge Avenue and Main Street in Ninety Six and provides wayfinding to Ninety Six High School, the Ninety Six Visitors Center, the Ninety Six National Historic Site and the local library.
According to information provided by the Greenwood Regional Tourism and Visitors Bureau, a 2008 tourism development study revealed signage and wayfinding were a serious issue that negatively affected visitor spending in Greenwood County.
The first new sign in Greenwood’s wayfinding signage initiative officially was unveiled Monday in the Town of Ninety Six. From left are Greenwood Mayor Welborn Adams, National Park Service’s John Slaughter, Ninety Six Mayor Arvest Turner and Greenwood County Councilman Patrick Moody.
(Chris Trainor | Index-Journal)
In 2010, the City of Greenwood and the GRTVB contracted with consultant Arnett Muldrow to develop a wayfinding plan for Greenwood County. A number of governmental, educational and civic agencies participated in that study.
In August 2011, the wayfinding project went out for bid to sign manufacturers. Garfield Signs and Graphics was awarded the project and is currently in the process of producing more than 130 signs that will direct visitors to locations across the county.
When the new signs are installed, the City of Greenwood and Greenwood County will work with SCDOT to remove any repetitive signage.
The total cost of the project is $120,000 and will be paid for using Greenwood city and county accommodations tax funds. A-tax funds are collected as an additional five percent on hotel stays in the city and county.
Ninety Six Mayor Arvest Turner said he thinks the new wayfinding signs are "outstanding," and he was glad Ninety Six was able to be the location for the first sign in the initiative.
Turner said he thinks wayfinding has been an issue for Greenwood County.
"I think that was the case," Turner said. "You would come into Greenwood or into Ninety Six, and there's no direction to tell you how to get to the state park or how to get to Lake Greenwood. There was nothing to show. But these signs will direct people to those locations. I think it will help us tremendously. They are very attractive signs. They catch your attention. I think they will do quite well."
Greenwood Mayor Welborn Adams said he thinks the wayfinding signage program will be good for Greenwood County.
"I think, without a doubt, this is going to beneficial for all entities involved," Adams said. "Especially, I feel like the (City of Greenwood). Our signage has been a missing link for many years. There are so many attributes in the city that you can't recognize and people who are visiting don't know about because they don't have the signage."
Greenwood County Councilman Patrick Moody said he likes the asethetic appearance of the new signage.
"Obviously, they are very nice looking signs," Moody said. "I think they are going to be very beneficial to our citizens in finding their way around the county, in particular visitors who come from outside the county. It will be a very prominent way to highlight many of our assets around Greenwood County."