Complete PR’s Anna Rice started Opportunity Greenville this week. Here are her quick observations on what she learned.
Alright, I’m going to be real with you. I did not know squat about Greenville before I picked up and moved here. Granted, I didn’t exactly move across the country like a courageous new college graduate. I grew up in Anderson and I’d visited Greenville more times that I can count. I practically could walk from the Richardson Street parking garage to Anthropologie blindfolded.
Even though I clearly have a clingy love for the Upstate, here are five things I didn’t know about #yeahTHATGreenville that I learned in my very first Opportunity Greenville session:
- Greenville was a HUGE mill hotspot – All those beautiful brick apartment walls that you yo-pros are nailing “explore, dream, discover” canvas art into? Definitely used to be the walls of a real mill. Obviously I already knew that, but what I didn’t know was that these now renovated mills were once hugely responsible for Greenville’s economic growth in the early 1900s. The first Textile Exposition in 1915 was so successful that Greenville began proclaiming itself the “Textile Center of the South.”
- Whatever you thought downtown Greenville looked like back then, you’re probably wrong – Or at least, I was definitely wrong. Downtown Greenville used to be four lanes wide with no trees or beautiful landscaping like we have now. Imagine shopping in this summer humidity without shade? Thanks, but no.
- We owe a big ‘thank you’ to tourism – Everyone likes to gripe on how tourists can be mildly annoying. However, if tourism didn’t bring in the revenue it does, each household in Greenville would have to pay an extra $895 in taxes. Didn’t see that one coming.
- People have heard of Greenville’s culinary scene – As someone who’s stomach has no patience or willpower for the “phone eats first” trend of the foodies, I truly was so unaware of how big the reputation of Greenville’s food scene was. Greenville is praised all over for our variety of restaurants and culinary experiences, landing a place on Travel + Leisure’s list of the Top 20 America’s Favorite Cities for Food.
- Greenville is loved – What I left Opportunity Greenville most excited about is how adored and appreciated Greenville is. Whether it’s the scenery, the people, the atmosphere or the food, this city has won the heart of thousands.
We’ve had a long history of amazing leaders that have dedicated themselves to improving this place, and we have a bright future of growth ahead of us. I can’t wait to be around to see it.