This past Monday, on the steps of the Georgia State Capital, Covington was honored with the front cover of the Georgia Travel Guide for 2017, as part of their Year of Film celebration. The cover is graced by the incomparable Ian Somerhalder, as he strikes a vampish pose in the Mystic Grill restaurant. This is a huge honor and shows just how important the filming industry has become to the economy of our fair state. Did you know that the filming industry reaped over 3 BILLION dollars’ worth of revenue for Georgia?
As one of Georgia’s first Camera Ready communities, Newton County continues to reap the benefits of film tourism. We’re old hats to show businesses, starting in 1955 with the film A Man Called Peter, which starred Richard Todd and Jean Peters. Our fame really took off in the 70’s and 80’s, when productions like the first five episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard, and the entire series of In the Heat of the Night made Covington their home. Today, Covington has become a hub for many popular TV and film productions, including all eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries.
Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston is proud of the recognition that his beloved town has received for the Year of Film. “Covington has always been known as the ‘Hollywood of the South,’ but being featured on the cover of the Georgia Travel Guide during Georgia’s Year of Film shows we have truly earned that moniker. Covington and Newton County are quickly becoming the premier destination for all things film related,” said Johnston.
Jenny McDonald, Director of Tourism and Marketing, said her office could not be more proud for Covington/Newton County to be in the spotlight for The Year of Film. “We have spent many years building our brand, ‘Hollywood of the South,’ and it has paid off greatly. This year is going to be an exciting time for us.”
Covington/Newton County is quickly growing with new merchants, tours, and attractions each year. Tourists who visit Covington can enjoy a variety of guided and self-guided film tours, ghost tours, food tours, and more! Having the opportunity to be included on the cover of this year’s Georgia Travel Guide is a true testament to how much the community has grown from the local film industry.
Who should we thank for all of Covington’s budding film success? Marcello Banes, Commission Chairman, knows! He told us that “The Vampire Diaries and filming overall has been great for Covington/Newton County.”Banes went on to say that, “We’re so proud to be part of a state that supports the film industry. We hope to continue growing in the film industry and we’re excited to continue to work with new and upcoming productions coming to Newton County.”
Ready to visit The Hollywood of the South for yourself? Come experience what Ian Somerhalder called “a very special place.” Click this link and transport yourself to Covington, Georgia aka THE Hollywood of the South!