The 2014 Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival sailed into Sarasota County last month and unfurled an even greater economic impact than the previous year.
The 30th annual boat race and event, held from June 28 through July 6, spurred a $17.2 million overall economic impact and generated 15,900 room nights in local hotels, according to an analysis by Research Data Services Inc. The number of room nights generated this year increased 18.7% over the 2013 Super Boat Grand Prix Festival, and the overall economic impact increased 10.2% in 2014.
Out-of-county visitors (the largest boon to a local economy during an event) spent $9.6 million, which was an 8.6% jump over the previous year's event. More than 80% of those tourists came to the area specifically for the festival or at least said it was an important factor in bringing them to the region.
The net revenues for Suncoast Charities for Children, which produces and benefits from the festival, are not yet available.
Other notable statistics from the event include:
+ Nearly 80% of out-of-county visitors plan to attend next year’s event
+ About 23% of eventgoers was less than 18 years old
+ Large race teams spent an average of $10,340
+ The international race team from Qatar spent more than $64,800