FMB needs more sponsors to host powerboat championship in October

Hotels and businesses along Fort Myers Beach are preparing for the National Powerboat Racing Championship to make its visit this October, but in order to pull off the event, they’re need of more sponsors.

Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce says they’re expecting for the Offshore Powerboat Race to bring in 70,000 people.

Businesses like Doc Ford’s say they’re already preparing for the Roar Offshore Powerboat race.

“The great thing about it is it’s not until Oct. 10, the kickoff. But, everything’s going on now,” said Doc Ford’s manager Joe Harrity.

The event some say will bring in more than $7 million to the area. Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce President Jacki Liszak says it’s an even many beach businesses are relying on.

“It’s a huge benefit for us at that time of year. October is usually a slower season, it’s a little quieter. We don’t have full capacity at that time and we’re coming out of our summer season,” Liszak said.

Similar events like the Englewood Beach Waterfest brought in a total of nearly $6 million last year, with almost $4 million in spending at shops and restaurants. But, organizers say they face one problem, in order to pull off an event this large they still need sponsors.

“It takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to put something like this on,” Liszak said.

After last year’s red tide, the people at Doc Ford’s say they’re doing everything they can to spread the word.

“Especially with everything that happened last year, last summer, it’s only going to help this community,” Harrity said.

Regardless, organizers say they’re determined to pull it off.

“The county and the town of Fort Myers Beach and the fire department, marine patrol, everybody is working together to get the event set up,” Liszak said.

For Mary Holm who remembers the excitement of previous powerboat races, she is confident the organizers will.

“If they did it before, I think so,” Holm said. “The businesses really need the people down here.”

Hotel rooms are already filling up for the October event.

Roar Offshore is hosting an informational session tomorrow at Doc Ford’s from 5 to 8 p.m.

For anyone interested in sponsoring the event can visit the Roar Offshore website.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
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