Chamber of Commerce delivers Savannah's 2013 economic outlook - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Chamber of Commerce delivers Savannah's 2013 economic outlook


Savannah's economic forecast is looking bright in 2013.

The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce's annual update was held at the Westin Riverfront at Savannah Harbor Thursday afternoon. The University of Georgia's Terry College of Business and Armstrong Atlantic State University's study says Savannah should see slightly more jobs and more people of all age groups move into the area. 

As far as long-term growth, fueled by tourism and the Georgia Ports Authority, Savannah is projected to be among the best in the nation. These are all positive signs for economic agencies trying to market Savannah as a home for new and established companies and businesses.

"We're really about to see some big things happen and that only helps us as we try to sell the community," Trip Tollison, Savannah Economic Development Authority executive director, told WTOC.

Tollison says the chamber report is huge for luring new business to town.

Also on the horizon, and possibly coming soon, are three new hotels and development on River Street.

Two of the hotels are scheduled to go up on the west end of River Street, including a development at the old Georgia Power site. On the east end of River Street at the Georgia Power's old headquarters, the Kessler group, who created the Mansion on Forsyth Park and the Bohemian, is moving forward with hotel plans there.

Three new hotels on or near River Street may sound like a lot. Is this hotel overkill? Visit Savannah's Joe Marinelli doesn't think so.

"I think the projects being discussed right now tend to be more on the boutique hotel side of things, a little smaller, which I think is good and will add a nice new level of product to our mix," Marinelli told WTOC.

According to the report, Savannah has 2,000 more hotel rooms now than it did in 2007 and occupancy has stayed close to 75 percent, which Marinelli says means the city can handle filling those new hotels and their rooms.

All three projects are still in the early stages of development.

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