Summer events big draw for Bethel, Clermont
Sheila A Vilvens, email@example.com:20 p.m. EDT August 4, 2016
(Photo: Sheila Vilvens/The Community Press)
The recent rowing championships, youth football tournaments and girls fast-pitch softball tournaments can mean lots of hungry bellies and visitors.
Restaurants and other businesses in the Village of Bethel and beyond know this and do all they can to welcome diners and shoppers to their establishments.
The recent USRowing Club National Championships at East Fork State Park provided an economic benefit to a large portion of Clermont Couny as it brought more than 1,850 rowers and 1,570 boats from 103 clubs in 30 states to the area along with families, friends and onlookers.
Clermont Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Matt Van Sant was impressed by both the professionalism he found at the rowing event and by the economic impact the event brings to the county.
“After a morning volunteering as a launch driver and speaking with a USRowing referee, I am impressed with the professionalism of the Clermont CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau) and the impact of the event overall,” he said. The event delivered an economic benefit to Clermont County as well as an opportunity for the county to present a positive image to visitors.
The rowing event is managed, operated and executed by the CVB, marketing and communications manager Sarah Gleason said. With the event comes a lot of planning and volunteer work, an area on which Gleason focuses much of her energy. Over a five-day period about 400 volunteers gave of their time. A lot of community support and sponsorships came together to make this a successful event.
“The 2016 event produced a record breaking economic impact to the region and highlights the increasing value of USRowing and the sport of rowing to this community,” CVB President Mark Calitri said. “We are anticipating future capital improvements to the venue in order to provide the highest level of service to our rowers, coaches and fans.”
This event had an estimated $2.4 million economic impact, he said. The majority of which directly impacted hotels from overnight stays, restaurants, local attractions, shopping and more, Gleason said.
The CVB recently announced that it successfully signed a contract to host the 2017 USRowing Club Nationals.
Bethel Mayor Alan Ausman said he was uncertain if the rowing competition brought visitors to Bethel establishments. However, other summer events are a big draw.
“The youth football is an awesome event that brings thousands to our community and most assuredly brings a sizable economic impact as well,” he said. The Third Annual Bethel Pre-season Kick-off is scheduled for Aug. 6 and 7 and expects about 150 teams.
Also big, the annual Southern Ohio Softball League fast-pitch softball tournament in Bethel.
“I think our community benefits more from the Flash facility east of us than from the regatta,” Ausman said.
“Flash is a large, baseball complex that holds tournaments almost every weekend and you see cars from many states driving through our town on Saturday mornings and Sundays,” he added.