Palm Beach County Sports Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2010
Contact: Kimberly Whetsel, Director of Marketing
Influx of Visitors and Spending to Impact Lake Okeechobee Region
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Over 2,500 spectators are expected to venture to the western part of Palm Beach County for a unique and extraordinary event that could generate a projected $500,000 in economic impact. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is partnering with the Treasure Coast Boat Racing Association to host the Gator Classic at Lake Okeechobee Outpost in the City of Pahokee, October 23-24, 2010.
The Gator Classic is an inboard boat race featuring Hydroplanes, Flat Bottoms, Jersey Speed Skiffs and Vintage racing boats that run four to five inches off the water, reaching speeds of 80-160 mph. The course is a one mile oval, with the race consisting of five laps around the course. Event Director, Jessica O’Connor, says, “Loggerhead Club and Marina and the City of Pahokee have an exceptional site right on the shores of Lake Okeechobee. Teams from all over the country and Florida residents are excited to see the return of the thunder on Lake Okeechobee. The water will be fast--both racers and fans better hold on tight. We are hoping to see a few one mile records drop.”
Currently, 150 boat teams from the US and Canada are committed to race in the classic and vintage divisions. Another component of the event is a vintage boat show taking place at the Loggerhead Club and Marina—Lake Okeechobee, which was recently rebuilt and opened in 2009. “We are excited to bring such a unique event to the City of Pahokee and Palm Beach County. Hosting the Gator Classic at Lake Okeechobee Outpost is a true measure of the vast sports tourism opportunities readily available throughout Palm Beach County,” says Patty Dent, President of Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
The schedule of events begins on Friday, October 22 with the vintage boat show, trophy display and free viewing of the Miss Madison movie starring James Caviezel. Racing will take place on Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24. The event times for Saturday and Sunday are 10am-5pm and gates open at 9am. Ticket pricing begins at $15 and children under 12 receive free general admission tickets. VIP, pit passes and two-day passes are available. For ticket purchasing information, venue directions and additional information on the Gator Classic, visit www.gatorclassic.com.
Not only does the Gator Classic bring a unique event to the county but the Lake Okeechobee Outpost is a one-of-kind-venue. Lake Okeechobee has a rich Florida history and legends of Spanish settlers and Calusa tribesman dating back to the 1800’s. The venue allows for those attending the event to come by car, motorcycle, RV or boat. Additionally, Lake Okeechobee Outpost offers over 100 lakefront camping amenities including cabins, campsites and RV hookups. For reservations, contact the Lake Okeechobee Outpost at 800-335-6560 or visit www.lakeokeechobeeoutpost.com.
About Palm Beach County Sports Commission
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is a private, not-for-profit organization contracted by Palm Beach County to promote and market the county as a sports and sports tourism destination. The Commission brings sporting events and activities to the county, enhances economic impact, stimulates bed tax revenues (primarily in the off-season) and maximizes utilization of county facilities. The Commission offers a full range of event service support, corporate partnerships, sponsorships and a local membership program that supports its goals. Local, regional, national and international marketing efforts are ongoing by the Commission with sports organizations and event owners. The Commission also produces sports-related programs for the residents of Palm Beach County including the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame, the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award and the Kids Fitness Festival of the Palm Beaches and awards. For more information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission go to www.palmbeachsports.com.