Neil Paul, executive director of Visit Anderson, says the cities remain close in geography and relationships. “We work together throughout the year,” he says. “Working on this project is a chance to work with friends in Greenville again.”
The Greenville-Anderson region moved into elite company this year by hosting the Bassmaster Classic for a third time.
By all accounts, the event’s magnitude has multiplied exponentially since 2008, when the upstate first landed the championship. The growth was most evident at the Classic Outdoor Expo presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods. Mulone says fire marshals considered closing the convention center because of the large crowd. “We were almost out of room,” he says.
Keys to Success
Multiple factors contributed to the record numbers, the first of which is the region didn’t set a goal based on attendance figures. Greenville and Anderson focused on details, including safety, fun and engagement, and trusted the results would speak for themselves.
Temperatures were also quite a bit higher in March than when the classic came to town in February 2015. Mulone says the event looks for a sweet spot between late February and Easter each year. It doesn’t want to compete with the Super Bowl, Daytona 500 or Miami International Boat Show, a major industry event held each February.