Main Street South Carolina recognized the City of Sumter with the 2019 Outstanding Special Project Award. The City of Sumter won the award for the project that brought a Hyatt Place hotel to its downtown.
This award recognizes special projects including fundraising activities, customer service programs, one-time projects or activities that significantly affected a downtown commercial district revitalization effort.
With the Sumter Opera House, Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital, Shaw Air Force Base and Palmetto Tennis Center all drawing visitors to Sumter, the city's downtown needed a hotel. After the city obtained and cleared a site across Main Street from the opera house, construction began and the Hyatt Place Hotel opened in April 2018.
The immediate proximity to the opera house allows for package deals combining tickets to a show with a night spent at the hotel, and the hotel also benefits from being located within walking distance of the hospital. The hotel booked several conferences before it opened, and has since hosted numerous weddings, family and class reunions.
In 2012, the City of Sumter acquired buildings on the hotel site which were in poor condition and considered to not have historic value. After demolishing these, the city established a temporary green space which also served as an event venue until the hotel could be built. The city also built a parking garage, funded with Tax Increment Financing money, as part of the effort to develop the hotel. The garage, which opened a few months before the hotel, serves hotel guests, but also provides free parking for other downtown visitors.
As a high-visibility downtown investment, the Hyatt Place has demonstrated the potential the district has for other businesses. The existing Hamptons Restaurant relocated to a space adjacent to the hotel and construction has begun on a downtown brewery.
"The Hyatt Place is the perfect example of how a downtown renovation can have a positive impact on the community and local businesses," said Jenny Boulware, Main Street SC manager.
Main Street SC is a program of the Municipal Association of South Carolina. It empowers residents, business owners and local officials with the knowledge, skills, tools and organizational structure necessary to revitalize their downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts into vibrant centers of commerce and community.
Main Street SC follows the National Main Street's Four Point Approach – economic vitality, design, promotion and organization. Each year, Main Street South Carolina recognizes members' achievements and successes in downtown revitalization. For more information, visit the Municipal Association's website at www.masc.sc (keyword: Main Street).