Regatta Sails in With $7+ Impact



A regatta event delivered a $7.1-million economic impact to the Bradenton-Palmetto area from out-of-towners coming to the Riverwalk for the event. The one-day free event in February attracted roughly 100,000 to the region, almost 40 percent of whom live outside of Manatee County, according to a study generated by Research Data Services.

Mike Fetchko, event organizer, said the regatta has become a signature event for the county that exposes the urban core for Bradenton and Palmetto to all visitors. “It continues to meet and excel in meeting those goals in very successful ways and tremendous numbers,” he says. “We are privileged and proud to be the event managers of this fabulous civic wide growing and embraced event.”

The event on Feb. 3 marked the fourth annual Bradenton Area River Regatta. This year, the event left the Green Bridge open to pedestrians both as a place to view Powerboat Super League races and to connect event-goers better between Bradenton and Palmetto attractions on either side of the Manatee River. Hydrocross Florida Winter Series and the Action Kawasaki/Yamaha Suncoast Nationals took place at the regatta as well, and a Zambezi Fireworks display closed out the event in the evening.

All this helped generate a $7,123,100 economic impact from out-of-town visitors. A survey by RDS showed 61.9 percent of event-goers live in Manatee County, but another 26.7 percent drove in for the day and went home, and another 11.4 percent stayed overnight. The typical attendee who stayed in the Bradenton area spent an average of four nights in the Bradenton area and came, on average, as part of a party of three. The survey also showed 40 percent of visitors heard about the event from recommendations by past attendees, and another 27.5 percent had attended the regatta before; the rest learned of the event from media including television (32.5 percent), magazine and news stories (30 percent), internet (22.5 percent) or radio (10 percent).

The study also shows the event proved popular with those traveling to the area. Some 85 percent of non-resident visitors said they would return next year, including 83.3 percent of the overnight stays. In total, out-of-towners spent $4,510,300 in direct expenditures. 

Researchers also calculate the average age of regatta-goers as 51.7 years old. The average household income for event-goers was $86,358, and 29.5 percent brought children or young adults in their traveling party.

Photo courtesy Bradenton Area River Regatta.

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