Cobb Travel & Tourism and Cobb County Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs partnered to conduct a research study with the National Association of Sports Commissions to look at the potential for events in the community. Forty of Cobb’s sports leaders from all walks of life, including private sports organizations, hotels and government, were brought together to form the Cobb Sports Alliance. Their objective is to continue to serve the recreational needs of residents, while creating more opportunities through sports to draw visitors to Cobb County. Travel and tourism remains the number one economic driver in the county. The industry has a total economic impact of more than $2.16 billion.
Cobb County is proud to have hosted the 24th Annual Winter Indoor Games of the Special Olympics in 2013. The ceremony was held at the Cobb Civic Center and provides inspiration to families from all over Georgia. Another highlight of this year was the hosting the National Special Olympics Gymnastic Meet for the third year in a row.
More than 2,000 children, ages 6-14, attended PARKS summer camps. Camp locations included Fair Oaks, Fullers, Ron Anderson and Ward Recreation Centers.
Aquatic program participation continued to grow with fee revenues reaching an all time high, thus providing more operational cost recovery. Mountain View Aquatic Center reopened after a $1.3 million SPLOST funded renovation, giving it a major facelift and resolving air quality issues with new state of the art HVAC equipment. Central Aquatic Center received improvements as well, with a SPLOST funded renovation that included painting, resurfacing the pools and upgrading the filtration system with a UV system. West Cobb Aquatic Center closed its doors the last month of this fiscal year for its much needed renovations and upgrades after operating for 12 years.
South Cobb Aquatic Center also reopened the last month of this fiscal year after receiving a rebuilt dehumidification system, evacuator (chlorinated air exhaust) system and painting the entire facility.
Gymnastics program participation continued to grow with fee revenues exceeding the cost of operations for the second year in a row.
Cobb County hosted the USTA National Open 16s Championship at Harrison Tennis Center. This event attracted many of the top players in the country. This was the 11th year Cobb County has hosted this event.
Cobb tennis class program introduced tennis to more than 2,500 participants. This is one of the larger programs of this type in the state.
Revenue for the year was $528,000, the highest all-time revenue figure for Cobb’s tennis program. This included all-time high revenues for three of the six tennis centers: Harrison Tennis Center ($208,500), Lost Mountain Tennis Center ($97,300) and Fair Oaks Tennis Center ($65,800).
More than 500 teams and nearly 6,000 participants utilized a Cobb tennis facility for league play in FY13. These teams host 1,800 visiting teams and in excess of 20,000 players coming to Cobb and our facilities to compete in league competition. These leagues included ALTA, USTA, Cobb Tennis Leagues and others.
SPLOST construction began at Harrison Tennis Center. The tennis center building is being replaced with a larger facility that can accommodate the customers that utilize the center. Work should be completed in March 2014. Other SPLOST projects are in the earlier stages, including replacement of tennis center buildings at Kennworth, Terrell Mill, Fair Oaks and Sweetwater Tennis Centers.
Forty-four of Cobb’s tennis courts were resurfaced in 2013. Funding for these projects was from cell-phone tower leases in Cobb parks.
The 15th annual ABA Dixieland National BMX competition was held in April at the Wild Horse Creek Park BMX track. More than 1,500 participants from 42 states, ages 3 to 55, raced for a national championship.
The Legacy Showcase youth fast-pitch softball competition was held in July at Al Bishop and Lost Mountain Complexes. The county hosted 104 teams, spanning from New Mexico to Connecticut, who came to display their skills to more than 265 college coaches. This event generated a $1.3 million dollar local economic impact to the community.
New tournaments were brought into the Al Bishop and Lost Mountain complexes during FY 13. The 2013 NSA Men’s slow-pitch world tournament was held in August with 98 teams participating and the USSSA Women’s Slow-Pitch National Tournament was held in September with 20 teams participating.
Malcolm Maye and Jerry Thomas were recognized by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners and the Cobb County Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department for their dedication and services to youth athletic programs in our community. Maye was the 36th volunteer to receive the department’s Volunteer of the Year Award for his 18 years of service to the Milford Girls Softball Association. Jerry, of the Powder Springs Girls Softball Association, received the Jack Demarest “Lifetime Achievement” Award for over 21 years of service helping children to love the game of softball.
The Cobb Youth Football League continues to grow in its third season. Nine organizations are now participating, with 51 teams, ages 6-12, competing each Saturday from September to November.
The ETC and Prompt camps continue to be the top performing arts camp in the region. All camps were sold out with a waiting list. Due to the exceptional quality of the ETC camp, five campers were able to get into the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts – Cobb County Magnet School for the Arts.
The 2013 Encore Series at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre held sellout shows. The series started off with the hit musical “Crazy For You” presented by Pebblebrook High School. Other Encore Series performers included The Association, Brenda Lee, Bobby Goldsboro, Ray Price and Johnny Rivers.
The Art Place-Mountain View served 900 students in art camps and more than 1,200 individuals were served in the various classes offered at the facility. The Art Station-Big Shanty doubled revenue for the holiday artist market and partnered with Cobb Marietta Water Authority for WaterSmart water/art conservation art contest and art show. The Mable House Art Center served more than 2,500 patrons from the community through its Annual Storytelling Festival.
The Annual Christmas House and Mable’s Tea Room increased participating artists and revenue. Total revenue increased by 16 percent from last fiscal year.
Keep Cobb Beautiful and the Natural Resources unit held a joint department cleanup at Heritage Park. The event consisted of an education component, cleanup and mulching of the trees in the parking lot islands. Forty volunteers, consisting of 32 children under the age of 18, participated.
The Solid Waste Department became a division of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs occurred. Vegetative Waste Recovery/Recycling served 33,317 customers and processed 40,200 tons of materials.