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Comparing 3 shopping destinations by their car tags

Who shops at the Fayette Pavilion in Fayetteville, The Avenue in Peachtree City and Ashley Park in Newnan? Which counties do these people come from to spend their money?

It turns out that each retail area benefits significantly from having out of county shoppers travel to these three venues to potentially spend their money and add to the sales tax rolls. A June 25 survey by The Citizen showed that auto tags registered in other counties accounted for approximately 65 percent of vehicles at the Pavilion, 54 percent at The Avenue and 41 percent at Ashley Park.

The reason for the survey was simple. The Citizen wanted to see who is traveling to these shopping venues and potentially contributing to sales tax revenues in a time when tax digest numbers in Fayette and Coweta counties continue to fall and tax levying entities are struggling with ways to balance their budgets and stave off millage rate increases.

What follows is not meant to provide a view of economic development, but rather to underscore one of the several facets of economic sustainability through the continuous generation of sales tax revenues in the local economies of Fayette and Coweta long after the economic development has been completed.

The survey provides a snapshot, not of raw sales tax dollars, but of the county of origin of the shoppers who travel here to potentially spend their money at the respective local venues.

And what follows was designed only to account for the county of origin on the vehicles for which that information was obtainable on the license plate. It should be noted that the number of vehicles included in the survey were counted primarily at small to medium sized stores. A maximum of 75 vehicles at the big-box Walmart at the Pavilion, the Walmart near The Avenue and at the Target at Ashley Park were included in the count. Also pertaining to the count, vehicles in restaurant parking areas were not included nor were those parked the greatest distance from stores since employees sometimes park further from stores to give customers easier access.

So who shops at The Avenue and nearby commercial venues in on Ga. Highway 54 West in Peachtree City and where do they travel from to reach that destination? The answer: the tally on June 25 showed vehicles registered in 22 Georgia counties. Approximately 46 percent of the 430 vehicles were from Fayette County, 33 percent were from Coweta County with the remaining 21 percent coming from Fulton and 19 other counties. That translates into approximately 54 percent of potential shoppers residing in counties other than Fayette.

The breakdown showed that 198, or 46 percent, were registered in Fayette County while 144, or 33 percent, were from Coweta County. And at a distant third was Fulton County with 29 vehicles, or 7 percent. The remaining 59 vehicles, or 14 percent, came from 19 other counties.

The breakdown of the remaining 59 vehicles showed nine from Clayton County, nine from Spalding, eight from Gwinnett, seven from Henry, four from Troup, four from Cobb, three from Douglas, three from Pike, two from DeKalb, two from Bibb and one each from Paulding, Muscogee, Richmond, Monroe, Clinch, Forsyth, Carroll, Meriwether and Liberty.

The Citizen conducted a similar survey of the county of origin of vehicles at the Fayette Pavilion on June 25 and found that approximately 65 percent of the vehicles were registered in 26 counties other than Fayette.

Of the 467 vehicles surveyed, 161 were from Fayette County and 152 were from Clayton County. Of the total number of vehicles counted that translates into 34.4 percent from Fayette and 32.5 percent from Clayton. Coming in third place was Fulton County with 73 vehicles, or 15.6 percent.

The remaining 17.5 percent of the vehicles counted June 25 came from 24 other counties. The breakdown by county showed 22 from Henry, 14 from Coweta, 10 from Spalding, seven from DeKalb, five from Cobb, four from Meriwether and two from Ben Hill. And the counties represented with one vehicle each were Barrow, Heard, Carroll, Chatham, Clarke, Telfair, Upson, Pike, Douglas, Lamar, Troup, Gilmer, Harris, Dougherty, Haralson, Rockdale and Gwinnett.

And who shops at Ashley Park in Newnan? Of the 433 vehicles surveyed June 25 it turns out that 255, or approximately 59 percent, were registered in Coweta with the remaining 41 percent registered in 25 other counties in Georgia.

Of the remaining 178 vehicles surveyed at Ashley Park, or 41 percent, Fayette accounted for 47, Troup County for 22 and Meriwether County for 19. Also included were Fulton with 13, Carroll with 10, Gwinnett with nine and Clayton, Cobb and Douglas with seven each. The remaining breakdown showed six from Henry, three from Muscogee, four from Pike, one from Lamar, three from Spalding, one from Whitfield, three from Harris, one from Haralson, one from Cherokee, one from Hall, four from DeKalb, one from Clarke, four from Heard, one from Lowndes and one from Bibb.

The survey results showed that while the Pavilion relies heavily on shoppers from Clayton and Fulton counties and The Avenue relies heavily on shoppers from Coweta, Ashley Park is drawing more potential shoppers per county from essentially the same number of counties as the shopping venues in Fayette. Shoppers’ attraction to the ever-expanding Ashley Park is doubtless bolstered by the retail area’s geographic proximity to I-85.

Looking to the future, the areas of the Pavilion and The Avenue, with a few potential exceptions, are essentially at build-out today. That is not the case at Ashley Park. The large Atlanta Fitness store opened in recently as did Rooms To Go, having moved from the Pavilion.

And though not a retail store, the new Cancer Treatment Centers of America hospital will be located in the Ashley Park retail center. Located immediately west of Rooms To Go, the facility will break ground in August and is expected to open later in 2012. CTCA officials last year estimated that the hospital will bring a $500 million economic impact to Newnan and Coweta County in its first five years of operation.



BHH's picture

all new construction of this type immediately in order to curb the influx of out of county shoppers to our area.

That should also curb the crime rate substantially, reduce wear & tear on local roads and alleviate traffic congestion.

This will reduce the need for county services such as "stormwater" control and related expenses.

Or we could just use a portion of this sales tax revenue to pay for all these services related to these problems.


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