The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has announced that the Southeastern Association of Highway Transportation Officials (SASHTO) annual conference will be held in the city of Charleston in August of 2012. SASHTO is a transportation organization consisting of state Departments of Transportation in 13 southeastern states and Puerto Rico. The purpose of SASHTO is to exchange ideas and maintain a balanced transportation system within the southeastern United States.
SCDOT conducted an open competition among cities in South Carolina to be the host site of the 2012 event. Transportation Secretary H. B. Limehouse Jr. said the competition was intense in a state where the number one industry is Tourism. "A number of cities put their best foot forward, but in the end, Charleston was selected because of its ability to both host a working conference and to provide a special brand of hospitality for our out-of-state visitors," said Limehouse. SASHTO officials concurred with the decision to select Charleston as the site.
Suzanne Wallace at the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau said Charleston aggressively sought to be the host site. "Our city has many excellent convention facilities, but Charleston is also a family-friendly city with much to offer in the way of recreation, historical ambiance and many fine restaurants among other attractions. Since this conference is a summer event, it's a perfect place for convention goers to bring their families for an extended stay to enjoy all that Charleston can provide," Wallace said.
The 2012 conference is expected to bring 900 visitors to Charleston. The annual conference is rotated among the 13 members each year. SCDOT last hosted the event in 1999. SASHTO members include: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.