"Heads in beds" might be an important measure of the city of Beaufort's success, but it is not the only important measure, its mayor said Thursday as the City Council began a two-day retreat.
"The measure should not be how many beds are slept in or how many meals are served," he said. "The measure should be how much the city is growing and improving."
That includes factors that are difficult to quantify and are not merely economic -- the city's social and cultural health are important, too, Keyserling said.
Cooperation and communication with businesses, civic groups and other municipalities are also key to Beaufort's plans for development, Keyserling and others said. That message was part of a joint meeting between the council and the city's Redevelopment Commission -- the latter of which was wrapping up its two-day retreat as the former was beginning one.
Redevelopment Commission members discussed projects ranging from converting vacant lots into affordable housing to establishing businesses in empty buildings. Financial incentives for new businesses also was discussed.
Virginia-based consultant Camille Wright Miller of The Virginia Group suggested the City Council considercreating an economic-development group to tackle marketing issues related to development.
Redevelopment Commission member Henrietta Goode said the city's future hinges on its ability to attract visitors and entice them to stay with job or business opportunities and a range of housing options.
"What we need to do is the first time they fall in love (with Beaufort) we need them to look at the surroundings and say 'Is this doable?'" she said.
The final day of the council retreat, which is open to the public, will go from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today in room 104 of the Center for the Arts, University of South Carolina Beaufort, 801 Carteret St.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufort.