Roar Offshore National Championship powerboat races a boon to business

Published: October 11, 2019 3:40 PM EDT
Updated: October 11, 2019 10:37 PM EDT

Businesses on Fort Myers Beach are revving their engines full throttle.

They’re ready for thousands of people to pack the beach for the Roar Offshore National Championship powerboat races this weekend.

The big event is expected to bring tens of thousands of people to Fort Myers Beach, spending millions of dollars through the purchase of food, drink, hotel rooms, merchandise, and more.

Fort Myers Beach resident Scott Bartell said, “It’s got to be huge, I heard there are something like 60 or 70,000 people that are going to be here, and that’s a lot of people, a lot of money.”

Business owners and managers say they’re ready, like Director of Marketing for Salty Sams David Kasten, “Been preparing for weeks, if not months for this event.”

October is generally slower for businesses, so it’s excellent timing during off-season, and Kasten said Roar Offshore is giving them a much needed economic boost.

“You know we are thrilled to have them, especially in a time of year which would normally be a little slow for us. Our pirate cruise really does well during October because of the Halloween stuff, and the kids love to come out and get on the pirate ship, but to get an infusion in business this time of year is fantastic,” Kasten added.

The Parrot Key Caribbean Grill was already enjoying a steady stream of customers Friday afternoon.

Assistant Manager Nikki Olivieri said, “The volume we are experiencing over the past few days is over double what we usually get this time of year.”

Drinks seem to be the popular favorite for this weekend’s events.

“We just make sure we are stocked up, make sure we have enough beer and wine and liquor and food for however many people we got, just make sure we’re ready,” Olivieri said.

Parrot Key Caribbean Grill said they only expect 10% of the 60,000 expected visitors to attend the actual races this weekend.

The rest will be here to enjoy the sun, sand, and atmosphere.

This events runs from Oct 10-12 at different times and in varying locations. For a complete schedule of events visit the Roar Offshore event website for more information or follow this event on Facebook.

If you can’t get down to the beach there will be a Facebook Live broadcast here.

Race results will be available at or