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The Sarasota County Commission has consistently voted in favor of monetary or in-kind support for the Suncoast Offshore Super Boat Grand Prix Festival since 2011.
Sarasota Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 3 years ago

Commission to discuss Grand Prix funding at workshop

by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

In the wake of news about its positive economic impact, Suncoast Charities for Children has submitted a funding request for the 2015 Suncoast Offshore Super Boat Grand Prix Festival.

Sarasota County commissioners will consider a $94,200 grant to the organization to help with promotional costs, and $3,500 of in-kind support from the county during a budget workshop Wednesday. The county reimbursed the non-profit $81,302 for promotional spending at this year’s event.

“Sarasota County is a sponsor of this annual event which has successfully generated an increase in tourism, resulting in a positive economic impact for Sarasota County,” said Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Director Carolyn Brown in a memo to commissioners. Staff have recommended approval of the grant agreement.

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.

A Visit Sarasota County study found that the 2013 Festival generated roughly $1.6 million in hotel revenues, according to the memo.

Commissioners will also hear an update on the Lido Beach and south Siesta Key beach renourishment projects, including plans to hire a consultant to review the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report on the effects of dredging Big Pass for the former plan. County staff have recommended spending between $15,000 and $50,000 to hire a third-party peer reviewer for the Lido Beach project.

And staff will recommend proceeding with the $19.8 million south Siesta Key renourishment, aiming for construction to start in January.

During the budget workshop, commissioners will also discuss:
+ The implications of an extension of the city’s downtown CRA
+ The county’s new ‘projects in my neighborhood’ website
+ The county’s capital improvement program (CIP)
+ The future of Sarasota County Area Transit services


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