Upstate Headlines: Tourism grew to $20.2 billion for SC in 2015

Upstate Headlines banner

A collection of the top Upstate headlines for the week of February 27, 2017

Tourism1-642x325Officials: Tourism grew to $20.2 billion for SC in 2015
South Carolina’s tourism sector continues to boom. For a fourth consecutive year, the industry experienced record growth in 2015, officials announced. Officials said tourism was worth $20.2 billion to the Palmetto State during the year, a 6.1 percent increase compared with 2014. One out of every 10 jobs was supported by tourism, and the industry generated $1.5 billion in state and local tax revenues. While domestic visitor spending grew modestly in 2015, international visitor spending grew by 12.5 percent, and capital investments increased 25 percent.

Jianna-entranceChef Michael Kramer’s modern Italian concept Jianna to open March 7
“It takes 10 years off your life when you open a restaurant.” So says chef Michael Kramer, a food service veteran, just days away from seeing his modern Italian concept, Jianna, finally come to life with the Table 301 crew when it opens on March 7.  Kramer says he’s inclined to change the menu regularly, not just four times a year with the seasons, and he plans to keep everything on the menu seasonal. When Jianna opens next week, the menu will feature multiple shapes of fresh pasta, steak, roasted chicken, tuna crudo, and four to five kinds of raw oysters.

0303.UBJ_.CoastApparel1.WillIamCrooks-642x325Coast Apparel opening flagship store in downtown Greenville
Greenville-based Coast Apparel hopes to grow into a national brand now that it’s got the backing of a new parent company. It’s starting its hoped-for conquest of the U.S. fashion market by opening a flagship store in downtown Greenville sometime in the next few weeks. They’re putting it right next to the headquarters of Delta Apparel, which bought Coast in August, bringing to four the number of clothing brands in its portfolio. The new store near the Peace Center will have about 2,000 square feet of shopping.

TrafficAlternative to Woodruff Road moves forward
City of Greenville officials say they’re almost ready to start building a new road that’s expected to cut traffic on Woodruff Road by more than 20 percent. The half-mile, two-lane connector would run parallel to Woodruff Road from Verdae Boulevard to Woodruff Industrial Lane and use roundabouts to connect with two dead ends along the way, Ketron Court and Green Heron Road.

Spartanburg-South-Carolina-Jack-Robert-Photography170215-34-642x325Montgomery Building renovation in Spartanburg ready to move forward
The transformation of the 93-year-old Montgomery Building into a thriving multi-use facility is finally set to begin. Interior renovations will begin Wednesday, and work on the exterior will begin March 27. The project should be completed in August 2018. The renovations will bring 72 apartments, 10,000 square feet of space for restaurants and retail, 11,680 square feet of office space to the decrepit building.