JetBlue flew its first flight into Savannah Thursday morning. Local officials were on the plane from New York's JFK airport. The dignitaries hailed the discount airline's arrival as a boost for local business and tourism.
The head of Visit Savannah, Joe Marinelli, had worried that new or expanded convention facilities in Jekyll Island, Augusta and Athens would attract some business from Savannah. But he says Savannah is not losing market share even though the competition has changed.
Officials with the Rock and Roll Marathon announced the new course for this year's race in Savannah. The event drew 23,000 participants in 2011. The new course was mapped out to respond to safety concerns of running on the Truman Parkway.
Savannah city officials are urging patience as its largest-ever sports event strides into history on Saturday. The Rock 'n Roll Marathon will bring some 23,000 runners and their families to the coastal city. They'll be filling up parking spaces and hotels. Officials expect roads and public transit to be knotted up.
Savannah is bracing for hundreds of thousands of partiers this week. The coastal city hosts the nation's second-largest Saint-Patrick's Day festival and in recent years has been easing up on some crowd control measures. For the first time in 12 years, partiers won't have to buy a special wristband to drink alcohol on the waterfront.
The state Department of Economic Development will spend more than $13 million over the next five years on a contract aimed at promoting tourism, film and global commerce. The contract with an Ohio-based marketing firm covers ad campaigns, media buys and sponsorships for the agency's three divisions.
The city has been playing catch up to Charleston, since the South Carolina port started getting cruise ship tourism earlier this year. The city is splitting the cost of a cruise ship feasibility study with the state and the Savannah Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. The interim City Manager said the study should take 3-6 months to complete.