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Posted: March 8, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Chamber to test out tourism trolley

The Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce is giving a trial run to a trolley that would be used by businesses and during special events to promote tourism.

Chamber officials are hoping to use the trolley as a "mobile visitors center" to promote the community’s "Hollywood of the South" theme and branding.

The trolley will be leased for five months, with the cost being paid out of the tourism budget, which is funded through public hotel/motel tax revenue. Monthly costs were not immediately available late Friday.

Chamber President Hunter Hall said the idea is for the trolley to be rented out to local businesses, including the existing "The Vampire Diaries" tours and the "In the Heat of the Night" tours scheduled to kick off in May.

It could also be used to shuttle people to events such as weddings at The Twelve Oaks bed and breakfast.

Companies using the trolley would pay a fee to help the chamber recoup its rental costs, Hall said. He added that trolley rentals likely wouldn’t be a money-making venture in themselves.

At this point, Hall said officials simply want to get the trolley in town and see how much it’s used and if it’s actually going to increase tourist spending. The chamber’s tourism arm will have the option to purchase the trolley if it proves to be a successful venture.

Businesses interested in renting the trolley are encouraged to contact the chamber for more details.

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