(Columbia, SC) — Columbia Opportunity Resource (COR) continues to connect the community with its talent retention initiative, Crash Course Columbia, returning with a new itinerary on March 30-31. The initiative was founded in 2020 and has held six tours since the pandemic with nearly 100 participants from a wide range of professions, ages and backgrounds. Whether new to Columbia or a life-long resident, all who have participated in Crash Course Columbia have walked away with a reenergized enthusiasm for the greater Columbia, S.C. region. Tickets are available at CrashCourseColumbia.com.
“We’re thrilled to launch this new Crash Course Columbia itinerary. Thanks to our incredible partners, locals have the opportunity to learn a great deal about our region in a short amount of time,” says Kelsey Bickley, co-founder of Crash Course Columbia and board chair for COR. “Whether new to Columbia or a long-time resident, Crash Course Columbia can help you get connected to the community.”
What to expect on Crash Course Columbia
Each year, Crash Course Columbia returns with a new itinerary to highlight new developments and local gems. The 2023 tour kicks off the evening of Thursday, March 30 in Rosewood with happy hour at The Hangar at Hunter-Gatherer. Friday morning starts with coffee and breakfast at The Hideout in West Columbia, a stroll of the West Columbia Riverwalk led by Palmetto Outdoor, followed by a visit to the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden where attendees will get a one-of-a-kind experience with the animals. The adventure continues through the afternoon with lunch at Market on Main and a guided walk through the Main Street District with Historic Columbia and One Columbia.
After learning more about the art and history of Main Street, the tour offers even more insight into Columbia’s entertainment scene with a behind-the-scenes tour of The Koger Center. The day then concludes with happy hour overlooking downtown Columbia’s sunset at Savage Craft Ale Works.
Transportation and all expenses are included throughout the tour. In just 10 hours, participants can explore five entertainment districts, chat with more than 15 community leaders, discover eight tourism hot spots, meet eight nonprofits, dine at four local restaurants and become a local champion through Crash Course Columbia.
“I was on the cusp of deciding as to whether I stayed in Columbia when I went through Crash Course Columbia. I learned so much about the region and left feeling excited to get involved in the community,” says Kaih Taylor, Crash Course Columbia participant and COR board member. “Now as a COR board member, I have the opportunity to share this passion for our region’s growth.”
Tickets on sale now
Tickets are on sale now and open to the public. Tickets are $350 per attendee and include the cost of all food and drink, experiences, and transportation. Currently, COR is offering a discount to existing members of any local nonprofit to attend Crash Course Columbia for $300. All participants who go through Crash Course Columbia receive a complimentary one-year COR membership (a $75 value).
Packages are available for businesses that plan to send multiple team members through Crash Course Columbia. Since the program’s inception, 15 corporate partners have participated, including Ag First, Capgemini, Chernoff Newman and Nephron Pharmaceuticals.