Economic impact numbers for the 2015 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix reportedly were higher than those for the event last year. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thill Pix
According to a report released by Visit Sarasota County—a tourism development agency for the Florida locale—the 2015 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival in July generated an economic impact of $32 million for the area. In 2014, the event reportedly generated an economic impact of $26 million dollars. However, direct expenditures for the event also rose to $20 million in 2014, as opposed to $17 million in the the previous year, according to the report.
Those numbers were cited in a press release from the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival. The release also included visitor survey figures from Visit Sarasota County. According to the survey, 88 percent of out-of-county attendees indicated that they traveled to the Sarasota area because of the race, and 85 percent of those surveyed plan to attend again next year.
“It’s clear from the numbers in our report that thousands of visitors have now made it a tradition to spend their July 4 weekend holiday in Sarasota County to enjoy the races and this annual Festival”, said Virginia Haley, the president of Visit Sarasota County, in the press release.
The Grand Prix Festival and July 4 Bayfront Fireworks are produced by Suncoast Charities for Children.
“With so many of the Festival events being free to the public the support received from our generous sponsors is critical for the continuation of this annual event,” said Lucy Nicandri, the Festival director and executive director for Suncoast Charities for Children, in the release. “The Grand Prix Festival is a prime example of the impact sports tourism brings to this community. Just adding the economic impact results over the past 5 years—not counting the 26 years before that—we’re talking $98.9 million. That’s a very impressive number.”
This year, the races were televised on CBS Sports Network (reaching approximately 60 million households) and Fox Sun Sports (approximately 15 million households), according to the release. Presenting and Major Sponsors for this year’s Festival included Sarasota County, Sarasota County Sports Commission, Sarasota Ford, Budweiser, FCCI Insurance Group, and The Florida Sports Foundation
Next year’s Festival is scheduled for June 25-July 4, 2016.