It seems about every little town has come up with some sort of festival to attract visitors, and some of them have some odd names.
Jamestown is holding its annual Hell Hole Swamp Festival on Saturday. It’s traditionally held the first weekend in May.
The festival, which was started in 1972 in the small town in northern Berkeley County along S.C. Highway 41 gets its name from a letter British General Charles Cornwallis sent to King George about his efforts to find the rebel Francis Marion in “one hell hole of a swamp,” according the festival’s website.
The area later became a hideout for moonshiners during Prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s. A still that was seized in a raid remains the mascot of the festival.
Another festival with an unusual name is coming up next month. The Flopeye Fish Festival in Great Falls is May 25-26.
Great Falls is a popular fishing spot near the Catawba River south of Rock Hill, but there’s no fish called a flopeye. The festival actually got its name from a merchant who used to sit outside his store with droopy eyelids, and Flopeye eventually became the name of the general area, according to the festival’s website.
Rock Hill gets right the point with its annual festival. It’s called the Come-See-Me-Festival and has been held in mid-April since 1962.
For many travelers, it’s all about those loyalty rewards.
Marriott Corp. has announced that it’s rolling its Starwood and Ritz-Carlton loyalty programs into its program this August. Members will be able to redeem the points at any of the company’s 6,500 hotels with no blackout dates.
Members can earn 10 points for every dollar spent at most of the company’s 29 hotel brands. They can also earn points for Marriott’s day trips, cooking classes, sports packages and other offerings.
The major hotel brands are ramping up their efforts to get a piece of the vacation rental market.
Earlier this month Choice Hotels International announced that it’s expanding its portfolio of Vacation Rentals by Choice.
Every Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels rental property also participates in the Choice Privileges rewards program, allowing guests to earn and redeem points for all vacation rental stays with no blackout periods.
The Vacation Rentals by Choice website shows 530 listings in the Charleston area.
CEO Stephen Joyce cited “increasing demand from consumers who desire longer term stays and larger accommodations with the amenities of home.”
Choice Hotels brands include Ascend, Cambria, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, Clarion, Mainstay Suites, Suburban EconoLodge and Rodeway Inn.
Other major brands have also been going after the vacation rental market. Wyndham Vacation Rentals for instance, has 446 listings in the Charleston area.
Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.