Wednesday, September 12, 2007

After Midnight in Savannah

Savannah, Georgia is like an old friend to me. The fact that it was founded in 1733 would be enough but I've also met wonderful people, eaten great food and been creeped out a time or two. My company operates Old Town Trolley tours and Ghosts and Gravestones here so I am fortunate to work with SCAD students and creatives all over town. (I even wrote a book about hauntings there called Ghost and Gravestones of Savannah, Georgia.) The charms of Savannah are endless and enticing. But time marches on.

Many years have passed since John Berendt's best selling novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was published and made into a wonderful movie directed by Clint Eastwood. Fewer and fewer folks are as interested or familiar with the story.
So what now? What do you do when the big thing that spurs tourism in your area begins to fade? You reinvent yourself. Yes, it is possible to continue promoting your attraction, area or service after things change.
Now Savannah is hailing itself as "The Creative Coast" and attracting talented artists of all kinds and the people who want to see them. Riffing off the successes of the Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD) and cooking celebrities like Paula Dean, Savannah is forging a bright new future. The reality is that things change and we need to be willing to change too. Focusing that effort in a useful way is the key. Change for the sake of change is "confusing motion with action" as Hemingway once said. Developing solid strategy and bold innovation wins the day. See you in Savannah.

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