Sarasota News Leader

03/14/2014

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"It's going to be a record March; I can tell." That statement by Russell Matthes, co-owner of the Daiquiri Deck in Siesta Village and the Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar restaurants in Venice and on St. Armands, sums up the observations of a number of business people The Sarasota News Leader contacted this week. Matthes has a file in his office showing that about 875,000 students are going to be on spring break during a six-week period this year, and they are not the only ones heading south to Sarasota County. At Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, where the Baltimore Orioles played their first game of Spring Training on March 1, per-game attendance is up, David Rovine, vice presi- dent of the Orioles for Sarasota operations, told the News Leader on March 12. Already, the team has had two sold-out games, includ- ing one against the 2013 World Series champs, the Boston Red Sox. "We're very thrilled," Rovine said. Last year, the team set new Spring Training records for attendance in Sarasota and for the franchise, drawing 120,455 fans for their 17 home games. Even with two fewer home games this year, Rovine is hopeful the franchise can beat that mark. A steady line of vehicles turns into the Siesta Public Beach parking lot on March 11. The lot was almost full by 10 a.m. Photo by Rachel Hackney ANECDOTALLY AND STATISTICALLY, TOURIST SEASON IS SHAPING UP TO BE ANOTHER RECORD-BREAKER HERE, THERE — EVERYWHERE! By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor

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