EAST COUNTY — Florida Gov. Rick Scott showed his support of Sarasota and Manatee counties’ efforts to build sports tourism in the area, with an Aug. 15 visit to Nathan Benderson Park, as the venue hosted the USRowing Masters National Championships.
Scott toured the site, before joining in a press conference, during which he noted the state lost 832,000 jobs in the four years leading up to his election.
“That made no sense,” Scott said. “We should be the absolute tourist destination in the world, but it won’t happen unless we invest and make things like this (park) happen.”
The state has committed
$10 million, in total, to the park and efforts to bring the International Federation of Rowing Associations’ 2017 World Rowing Championships there. The site has been recommended for hosting the regatta, with formal approval expected in September.
Benderson Development, along with Sarasota and Manatee counties, led efforts to lengthen the lake at Nathan Benderson Park to accommodate a 2,000-meter rowing course and for the creation of the regatta venue itself.
During the ceremony, Scott honored Randy Benderson, president of Benderson Development, and his family, with the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award, which recognizes individuals and companies for significant contributions to the Florida economy.
“It’s a great honor for our family and our company,” Benderson said of receiving the award. “Our company spends a lot of time trying to bring businesses to our community, and it’s wonderful to be recognized for it.”
Benderson Development is responsible for many of the shopping destinations along University Parkway between Interstate 75 and just west of Honore Avenue, among others. It also has partnered with Taubman Centers to construct the Mall at University Town Center, just north of Nathan Benderson Park. The mall is slated to open in October 2014.