Cocoa Beach powerboat race gets support from tourism grants advisory board

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On Wednesday, the Brevard County Tourism Advisory Board reiterated its support for a major event grant of $53,795.80 to promoters of the May Thunder at the Cocoa Beach Powerboat Race.

Funding for the grant comes from revenues generated by the 5% tourism development tax that Brevard County imposes on hotel rooms and other short-term rentals.

RECOMMENDATION Wednesday’s 9-0 vote by the Brevard County Tourism Development Council sent the proposal to the Brevard County Commission, which will likely be considered for grant approval at its March 7 meeting.

A county board on December 6 submitted action on the Thunder on Cocoa Beach proposal after the board raised questions regarding the grant application, which primarily deals with financial information and the charitable purpose of the event. The Commissioner has sent the funding request back to the Tourism Development Council for additional review.

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Rita Pritchett, county commissioner and chair of the Tourism Development Council, said the details motorboat race organizers provided in their revised grant application package, particularly related to the budget for the event. He said he was impressed by

Pritchett also plans to back the grant before a five-member county commission, which would require the backing of at least two other commissioners to approve the grant. said deaf.

“What they put forward is pretty much a textbook of what we should see,” said Pritchett. “So I was very impressed with the data they sent. I am very happy with it. And now I am very supportive of this.”

Tom Hermansen, vice chair of the Tourism Development Council and owner of the Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral Tourism Corridor hotel, agreed to support the grant, stating that applicants for large tourism grants will be encouraged to use public funds. He said he has an obligation to disclose how he spends.

Denied again:Cocoa Beach Air Show funding cut at controversial Brevard County Commission meeting

This year’s powerboat races and related events are scheduled for May 18-21. The Atlantic races are right next door to Cocoa Beach, with related events held in Cocoa Beach and Port Canaveral.

Thunder on Cocoa Beach is considered one of the largest tourism-related events on the Space Coast, with 255,794 attendees and $53.1 million in visitor spending, according to the latest Space Coast Tourism Authority estimates. bottom.

The 2023 boat race had been recommended for grants by the Tourism Development Council and the Council’s Cultural Committee before the county board submitted a proposal in December. I received a tourism subsidy.

air show permission denied

The Tourist Development Council’s decision on Wednesday came a day after a county board rejected a similar grant for the Cocoa Beach Air Show for the second time.

The air show is scheduled for April 15th and 16th on the beach at Cocoa Beach, with a rehearsal on April 14th. U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are the stars of the air show.

Air show promoters originally sought approval for a major event grant of $87,852.20 in December. After that offer was rejected, they returned with a $53,795.80 grant, matching what Powerboat Racing was asking for.

But the air show again received no support from county commissioners on Tuesday after commissioners felt show organizers were not adequately addressing questions posed at the Dec. 6 county commissions meeting. bottom.

Commissioner Tom Goodson, who took the proposal back to the county commission on Tuesday, learned that the air show promoter did not meet with county commissioner Kristin Czonka to address her concerns about the grant proposal. later withdrew its support for smaller subsidies. He emailed her to answer her question.

Goodson dropped the item from consideration at Tuesday’s meeting, so the grant never reached a formal vote. A larger grant was rejected by him in a 5-0 vote in December.

At a Tourism Development Council meeting on Wednesday, Hermansen said air shows in Cocoa Beach, Melbourne and Titusville, as well as a powerboat race at Cocoa Beach, will draw more tourists to the area. , said it also offers publicity value for the Space Coast.

Hermansen said these are “long-established, large-scale events” and are well-regarded by local residents.

“I support all these large-scale events as long as they are transparent and well documented,” said Hermansen.

The 2021 Cocoa Beach Air Show attracted 235,734 attendees, generating $30.07 million in visitor spending, according to estimates by the Space Coast Office of Tourism.

Grant guidelines

Under current guidelines, to be eligible for major event grants, a recipient must attract at least 25,000 attendees, at least 25% of whom must be from outside Brevard County. At least a 40-1 return on investment from the grant is required. You must spend at least 40% of your marketing budget outside of Brevard County.

Funding levels are based on total attendance, with up to $100,000 in grants awarded to events that attract more than 200,000 attendees. These are the other stages of the grant.

  • 25,000-49,999 attendees: Up to $25,000 in grants.
  • 50,000-99,999 attendees: Up to $50,000 in grants.
  • 100,000-199,999 participants: Up to $75,000 in grants.

Also, the grant cannot exceed 20% of the organization’s current event budget.

Contact Berman at 321-242-3649 or dberman@floridatoday.comon Twitter @bydaveberman on facebook Cocoa Beach powerboat race gets support from tourism grants advisory board

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