By Lou Phelps, Coastal Empire News
March 24, 2017 – One of the more conservative members of the Georgia General Assembly, Senator Josh McKoon of Columbus, rose in the Georgia Senate Friday to point out that the latest economic data from North Carolina shows almost no negative impact to that state, despite passage of a number of bills passed that were considered by many to be discriminatory.
But Sen. McKoon reviewed some of the state’s 2016 tourism and business economic impact figures that showed that
“North Carolina may have lost out on the NCAA championships, the NBA All-Star Game and Bruce Springsteen thanks to its
hotly contested transgender bathroom law, but the state’s economy didn’t miss a beat,” reported the Washington Times, an article that Sen. McKoon cited in the Senate today.
Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the passage of what has been termed nationally as “the bathroom bill.”
But despite the loss of these keynote events, North Carolina’s economic indicators released for 2016 shows positive numbers for North Carolina.
Hotel occupancy, room rates and demand for rooms set records in 2016, according to the year-end hotel lodging report issued last week by VisitNC, part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC).
And, the EDPNC reported earlier in March, that North Carolina has retained its fourth-place spot in a well-regarded annual ranking of states attracting the most new and expanded corporate facilities.
“North Carolina had 289 qualifying projects announced in 2016, according the latest Governor’s Cup ranking from Site Selection magazine. Among the Top 5, North Carolina trailed only Texas, Ohio and Illinois, and finished ahead of Georgia,” they state.
And, North Carolina, which has been ranked No. 4 nationally for projects overall for three straight years, is No. 1 among the eight states in the South Atlantic region for 2016. The region includes Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia, which are aggressive competitors for new and expanded corporate facilities.
The full Governor’s Cup ranking of South Atlantic states and number of announced projects in 2016 is:
1) North Carolina, 289
2) Georgia, 271
3) Virginia, 222
4) Florida, 160
5) South Carolina, 112
6) Maryland, 63
7) Delaware, 8
8) West Virginia, 3
“Site Selection defines a qualified project as one that meets one or more of the following criteria: involves at least $1 million in investment, creates at least 20 new jobs, or adds at least 20,000 square feet of new space. The facilities tracked do not include retail projects, schools, hospitals or government projects. The focus is on new corporate facility projects, including headquarters, manufacturing plants, R&D operations and logistics sites,” according to the EDPNC.
Hotel and motel occupancy increased last year by 3.4 percent over 2015, and “each month of 2016 experienced the highest occupancy on record,” according to this week’s lodging report.
The statewide average room rate of $98.88 per night represented a 3.6 percent jump from 2015, which also set a state
record and exceeded the national increase of 3.1 percent
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