SARASOTA – Sarasota’s “Crown Jewel” both in excitement and economic impact.
“We have really formed this into a destination event ,” Festival Director Lucy Nicandri said.
Nicandri said last year, the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix brought in $36.2 million dollars.
“We get a very positive report back from local businesses in a number of respects,” she added. “First of all you’ve got the teams that are coming into the area, they have to use rental cars, they have flights coming into the area, they need to eat out, they need hotels, not just for the racers themselves but for their crews and families that are coming in.”
Nicandri said over the past 6 years, the impact has totaled more than $152 million. The influx of money helps Sarasota County have more flexibility with the tourism budget.
“The legislature keeps trying to expand the use of tourism dollars for county operations and capital,” Nicandri explained.
“The Grand Prix event helps Sarasota County save operational and capital dollars that they would have to invest into social services and therefore preserves tourism marketing dollars which is a big savings for Sarasota County government.”
This year the event will get more exposure. For the first time, the races will be nationally televised. CBS Sports will broadcast the event on July 22 at 4 p.m.