Sarasota News Leader

01/31/2014

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The 2014 Thunder by the Bay, a fundraiser for Suncoast Charities for Children, increased its overall economic impact on Sarasota County by 8.7 percent from the previous year, Lucy Nicandri, vice president of Suncoast Charities, reported this week. The direct and indirect economic impact totaled $7.4 million, she told The Sarasota News Leader in a Jan. 28 email, and the event resulted in 5,400 room nights in area lodgings. "Fully 95.0% of the out-of-county attendees of Thunder by the Bay either came to Sarasota because of the event or said it was import- ant in bringing them to the area," notes the report Suncoast Charities commissioned from Research Data Services Inc. of Tampa. Although final budget numbers are still being calculated, Nicandri added, conservative projections show an increase of more than $100,000 in net revenue for Suncoast Charities for Children. According to a breakdown of the statistics that Nicandri provided the News Leader, of the estimated 90,000 people who attended 2014 Thunder by the Bay events, 43.5 percent live in Sarasota County year-round or season- ally. Among the non-resident attendees, 11.8 percent were overnight visitors. Of the out-of-county participants, 76.4 per- cent were from other parts of Florida. Not surprisingly, 72.5 percent of the non-res- idents who traveled to Sarasota for Thunder by the Bay came by motorcycle, the statistics show. The average age of attendees was 51.9 years, and the median reported household income was $108,200, the report says. Additionally, 66.1 percent of the participants were male. The findings were based on 314 face-to-face interviews conducted with randomly selected visitors, the report adds. When Nicandri emailed a similar report to the County Commission on Jan. 28, Commissioner Joe Barbetta commended her as well as her board, staff and volunteers for "another great job!" Rachel Brown Hackney Thunder by the Bay had about 90,000 attendees this year, organizers say. Photo by Norman Schimmel THUNDER BY THE BAY OVERALL ECONOMIC IMPACT UP NEWS BRIEFS

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