GUNTERSVILLE – Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau received the 2020 Tourism Organization of the Year from the state of Alabama during a ceremony last week in Montgomery.
Since 2013, Marshall County has experienced a 29% increase in lodging tax revenue and seen tourism expenditures rise by 22%.
“This growth is a direct result of the commitment of our staff and our board of directors, and the hard work of community volunteers who have demonstrated a strong commitment to our mission,” said Katy Norton, president of the Marshall County CVB. “Tourism for us is about more than just the lake. It’s about the people in our community, the delicious restaurants, the unique shopping, the relaxing atmosphere, the slower pace. It is about offering visitors a little something special.”
During the past several years, the Marshall County CVB has recruited fishing tournaments such as the Bassmaster Elite, the FLW Tour and the Bassmaster Team Championship, building Lake Guntersville’s reputation as one of the top bass fishing lakes in the country. In March of this year, the organization had the honor of hosting the 50th Anniversary of the Bassmaster Classic, which produced an economic impact of more than $35 million for the state.
In the past two years, Guntersville Lake HydroFest, another large event hosted by the Marshall County CVB, has generated over $2 million in direct economic impact for the county. As professional racers compete for the Southern Cup on what is quickly becoming one of the most popular lakes in the country, visitors come from more than 20 states to enjoy a weekend of fast-paced action, and a taste of true Southern hospitality.
This fall the much-anticipated sports facility, Sand Mountain Park, will open. Encompassing 130 acres, the new complex will provide state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor facilities and will launch Marshall County into the world of competitive sports, expanding tourism and generating new revenue.
“We are excited about the future of tourism in Marshall County,” Norton said. “The natural beauty of our area is hard to beat and we have so much to offer the visitor. With sports tourism expanding, we have the opportunity to showcase our community in a new market. Tourism brings money into our county - money that helps pave roads, pay for city services, and improve education. It is important to our economy.”