The city of Bradenton next week will consider an early approval of the 2018 Bradenton Area River Regatta as an economic impact study shows a $5.3 million infusion into the area during the most recent regatta on the Manatee River.
The study was performed by Research Data Services LLC on behalf of the Bradenton Area Visitors and Convention Bureau. Early estimates that the regatta Feb. 4 drew 100,000 spectators were lowered to an estimated 85,000 people, 5,000 more than the inaugural event in 2015. The inaugural event was said to have created more than an $8 million overall economic impact.
The 2017 regatta study shows less overall spending, but similar numbers from the 2015 report in that $3.3 million was spent by visitors coming from out of town. A study was not performed for the 2016 event, which was marred by rain, wind and cold weather.
CVB Executive Director Elliott Falcione said there could be several factors why more people spent less money.
“It could be people are a little more guarded with disposable income, so a daily expenditure is a little less than it was two years ago,” Falcione said. “But the key is getting first-time visitors in front of that urban core brand because exciting things are happening there. We want to introduce that and believe an introduction like the regatta will make them want to come back.”
Of those surveyed, more than 93 percent of regatta fans who came for the event as a one-day trip said they would return and 92.5 percent of overnight guests said they would return. A full third of attendees were families with children.
Secondly, it’s to bring business on steroids to retailers for one day so that infusion of revenue is there to withstand a slow month of business that can be typical in Florida.
Elliott Falcione, Bradenton Area Visitors and Convention Bureau executive director
The study indicates that 37 percent of the regatta attendees were from out of town and almost 10 percent, or about 8,500 people, stayed at least one night. Research Data Services president Walter Klages said the study is based on 176 face-to-face interviews by trained research professionals.
“The principal purpose of this study was to document the economic impact of the 2017 (regatta). In this context, the study tabulates and profiles both tourist/visitors and day-trippers who came to the area for the event,” Klages writes in his conclusion.
Falcione said regardless of why estimates show less money was spent this year, “The bottom line is if $5.3 million flowed into the urban core, then the urban core met their objective.”
Falcione said an event like this has two goals. The first of which is to introduce people into the urban core and getting them to come back.
“Secondly, it’s to bring business on steroids to retailers for one day so that infusion of revenue is there to withstand a slow month of business that can be typical in Florida.”