LCDC Launches “Visit Laurens County” to Profile Local Businesses and Attractions

May 17, 2023

Earlier this month, the Laurens County Development Corporation (LCDC) launched “Visit Laurens County,” an online story map that aims to spotlight the assets located in Laurens County.

The idea for the online visitor’s guide was sparked by the LCDC Livability Committee team during the implementation of the strategic planning process in 2021. The team comprised of several dedicated community members and leaders came together to identify community assets to help tell the story and highlight the quality of life in Laurens County. Members of the Livability Committee include Jamie Adair (team lead), Stellartean Jones, Bud Marchant, Amanda Munyan, Harold Nichols, Sharon O’Bryant, Melissa Patton, Ernie Segars, Susan Tallman, Heather Tiller, Jerre Threatt and Holly Welch.

As part of this process, the Livability Committee assisted LCDC in applying to CPAT, the South Carolina chapter of the National Association of Planners in hopes that asset mapping for Laurens County would be selected as their annual project. And it was!

Laurens County was selected for their annual project, and they sent a team of pro bono planners to Laurens County for two visits and several conversations, after which they presented the idea of creating a “story map” spotlighting several assets in Laurens County. They worked to create this unique, map-based way of spotlighting assets and presented it to the Livability Committee in the Fall of 2021.

“After seeing the ways these online guided map “tours” could be used, I was inspired to create one that could be helpful as a visitor’s guide for Laurens County,” said Whitney Lagrange, LCDC Marketing Director. “Google is obviously the most real-time option to see what’s nearby and to get more information, but I liked the idea of having an all-inclusive, one-stop resource with a more personal touch and detail.  Our hope is that it may also prove beneficial to several county entities to host on their websites for county resource cohesiveness.”

Visit Laurens County is broken out into 12 categories including Agriculture, Arts & Entertainment, Coffee, Drinking & Dining, Events, Healthcare, History, Lodging, Recreation, Salons & Services, Shopping, and Sports.

So how does a business get listed on the website?

It has been quite the task trying to make sure all businesses in the featured categories are included and all information entered. Any businesses not listed are purely by accident and not intentional. In fact, a link has been included just below the category menu for business owners to reach out to the LCDC to have their business listed or with any changes, additions, or subtractions to a current listing.

“For this to be successful long-term, it will need to be a group effort with businesses providing information regarding new entries needed and removal of any closed businesses,” said Lagrange. “We welcome input as this is an ever-expanding, evolving resource and with limited staff it will be nearly impossible to keep current otherwise.”

There is no cost for a business to be listed, but it should fall within the categories listed. The categories were selected to be helpful for visitors coming through our area—whether for a day trip or staying longer. If there is a repeated need for a new category it can be added in the future.

The site can be navigated in two ways to make for easy trip planning:  by choosing an area on the map, which then shows pin drops of all listings in the nearby vicinity; or by choosing a category, which will then pull up listings. Each entry features a short write-up, a link to more information, as well as a map to the side showing where they are in Laurens County. By clicking on each listing, the pin drop will also move on the map, showing the location.

This visitor’s guide/resource will need to be continually updated, but we feel it is a good starting point for anyone needing local visitor information for Laurens County.

And it might even be helpful to residents of Laurens County. Click HERE to check it out and find some interesting places to frequent. On the LCDC website, Visit Laurens County, can be found under “Living Here” or “About Us.”

E-mail LCDC Marketing Director Whitney Lagrange to submit a business or idea to be considered.