More than 30 offshore powerboat-racing teams reportedly entered this year’s Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
According to a report from Visit Sarasota County, “the official tourism marketing entity and primary provider of visitor information for Sarasota County, Fla.,” last month’s 32nd annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix had an estimated economic impact of $37,165,654 and generated 18,300 hotel-room nights. The news was announced in press release from Suncoast Charities, the primary benefitting charity and producer of the weeklong festival-style event.
According to the release, last year’s estimated economic impact was $32 million.
“Suncoast Charities is extremely grateful for the support provided by Sarasota County and Visit Sarasota County as Presenting Sponsors totaling $100,000,” said Lucy Nicandri, the festival director, in the press release. “Their support, along with the support from the City of Sarasota and other key sponsors, is critical for the sustainability of this Festival, which is a July 4 holiday tradition for the area.”
Powerboat P1 USA sanctioned this year’s race with 60 AquaX personal watercraft racers and 33 powerboat race teams participating, according to the release. Domestic broadcast networks including Fox Sports, NBC Sports, MAV TV, and the Nautical Channel are currently airing one-hour specials on the Grand Prix Race into 63 million households, while international broadcasters are airing in 140 countries worldwide. According to a survey cited in the release, 84.6 percent of the out-of-county attendees reported that they either came to Sarasota because of the race or said it was important in bringing them to the area.
“The Sarasota Super Powerboat Grand Prix is consistently our largest single sports tourism event of the year,” said Rob Wells, the director of sports for Visit Sarasota County, in the release. “The Grand Prix is enjoyed by both our visitors and local community unlike any other sports event in Sarasota County. We are proud to be the presenting sponsor of the event and thank the entire staff for putting together a truly world-class event.”
The 2017 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix scheduled for June 24- July 4.