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Rincon peering into tourism opportunities
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Could Rincon become the site for the next Keller’s type flea market? How about a home for a couple of museums or maybe a picnic site on the River? Those are just a few of the possibilities being studied now for birthing a tourism trade for Rincon and perhaps the county.

Rincon City Manager Mike Phillips met last week with University of Georgia graduate student Anthony Crotser, who is working on a local government practicum on behalf of the Georgia Municipal Association.

“The report will be shared at the Georgia Municipal Association so representatives from the various cities will be invited to attend,” Crotser said. “That’s where the final piece comes together.”

Phillips said they would come up with a list of potential projects that can then be presented to the city. Council can then decide which, if any, of these projects they would want to go forward with.  

“What’s nice about some of these with a potential draw, like with the Diane Kessler Memorial Park, if you develop that into a nature trail, you can draw people from Savannah for day trips and things like that,” Crotser said. “That helps increase the quality of life with your current residents.”

The park is an undeveloped property that the city has owned for about 10 years.

One of the ideas discussed was doing something to mark the fact that George Washington slept here somewhere in the Goshen area. Mr. Phillips said, “The book that I was reading said he slept someplace on some plantation that’s a mile inside our side of the Chatham-Effingham county line,”

Phillips said. “I think that’s a real significant point.”
Other potential statues talked about included one of country music star Billy Currington and perhaps one depicting the area’s Native Americans.

“We need to make Rincon a destination,” Phillips said. “There are historical markers all throughout the county. What we need is a little brochure that would list the markers. The city has a lot of good potential, but we want to tie that to what’s out in the county because what we can do certainly benefits us, but what we can do in the county will still benefit us. We have a very unique location — we’re six miles from the Georgia visitors center and so that puts us in the position of being able to tap all of that traffic coming across the line. The idea would be to create reasons for Savannah or other I-95 travelers to make a side trip to explore Rincon and the county.”  

Rather than wait on Port Wentworth to build right up to the Effingham line, Phillips would rather see the city be proactive and look at developing a draw in the Goshen area. He said the city needs to develop things in that area to help strengthen it as a part of the county and potentially as a part of Rincon.

“We have an old post office building,” Phillips said, “so what we’re going to do is bring that old post office building from where it’s hidden right now, bring it over here and put it on the corner of the city hall yard and put it out where it can be seen and where people will stop and take a look at it and want to know what it’s all about.”

He also mused that Rincon might be a good site for a permanent flea market .

“If we could develop a decent flea market, where we could have 100 vendors,” Phillips said, “we would actually have a place that people are coming to and while they’re there, they’re going to be there for four hours, so they’re going to eat hot dogs and ice cream and drink Pepsis and they’re going to spend their money.”

Phillips said Crotser’s charge is to come up with ideas for promoting Rincon and the surrounding areas.