Chamber seeks to recruit ‘snowbirds’ to area

Published 3:00 am Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Pike County Chamber of Commerce is always looking for more and different ways to showcase Pike County as a place to visit and a place to live.

Chamber President Kathy Sauer participated in the Alabama Retiree Expo in Orange Beach on Thursday where between 150 and 200 Alabama cities put their best foot forward.

“Around 4,000 Snowbirds came through the expo so it was a great opportunity for us to expose a tremendous number of people from all across the country to all that Pike County has to offer,” Sauer said. “We had a lot of visitors to our booth and they were all very interested in our display and picked up a lot of the information that we had available.”

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Sauer said the chamber’s display included information on Troy, Troy University athletics, the Johnson Center for the Arts and the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge.

“The Snowbirds come to the beach areas during the winter months and stay from four to six months,” Sauer said. “They are do a lot of traveling while they are here, day trips and short overnighters, so they are always looking for fun and interesting places to visit and some of them are looking for a place to relocate.”

Troy and Pike County is more than three hours north, but some of the retirees said that distance is not to great to venture from their winter homes, while other indicated the distance was a bit out of range.

“But, they said they might come through this way going or coming,” she said. “Quite a number of people were familiar with Troy because they knew people who attended Troy University.  They were interested in the university’s Terra Cotta Warriors. Two people were interested in relocating near a university, and they were interested in Troy University and what Troy has to offer. Two is not many, but it’s two.”

Many of those who visited the Pike County Chamber of Commerce booth were from Minnesota and Michigan and were curious about the Farm-City program and interested in beginning a Farm-City program in their communities, Sauer said.

“They took Farm-City calendars and bookmarks with them, so I think their interest was genuine,” she said.

Snowbirds from states as distant as South Dakota, New Mexico and Colorado and as nearby as Tennessee and Missouri visited the Pike County booth.

“We had a lot of people visit our booth,” Sauer said. “Pike County got a lot of exposure and that can only mean good things. The Alabama Retiree Expo was a good way to let people know about what we have here in Pike County.

“Maybe they’ll venture our way for a visit and then just might decide they want to stay.”