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News Section: Local Government

Manatee County Makes Half Million Dollar Investment Promoting Rowing Park

Published Wednesday, August 13, 2014 12:04 am

BRADENTON – On Tuesday, Manatee County Commissioners approved funding the promotion of Nathan Benderson Park with $535,000 in tourism tax funds over the next four years in anticipation of the 2017 World Rowing Championships and other planned events at the facility.

Commissioners unanimously agreed to invest tourism tax dollars to market and promote the area across the globe through 2017. As part of the agreement, Manatee will reimburse the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Association, Inc. (the non-profit organization that operates the facility) for marketing expenditures. 

The agreement (click here for PDF) also included board approval of the transfer of $40,000 from reserves in the Tourist Development Tax Fund for the Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau to be used to purchase sponsorship-branded advertising at Nathan Benderson Park for four years with the option to renew for additional three years.

The move is part of an effort by both counties to promote the Bradenton-Sarasota area as part of the lead up to the 2017 World Rowing Championships. Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Elliott Falcione emphasized that tourism tax revenues, not property tax dollars, will be spent on the investment.

“If we’re doing our job to drive visitors into our area during non-peak times of the year, it sustains jobs, it grows our job market and feeds the hospitality industry,” Falcione said. “Overall it improves the quality of life for our residents. There’s a lot of good to bringing visitors to a community like ours because it’s the number one industry in the state.”

Falcione said that advertising at the park reinforces the area’s brand to new visitors.

“When athletes, families and friends come to Nathan Benderson Park, the advertising will allow us to reinforce the community to that group in hopes that they love our community and want to look further into it,” Falcione said. “It’s about exposing our destination brand to visitors attending the venue.”

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