By Lindsay Lorenz
PBN Staff Writer
NEWPORT – According to an economic impact report released by The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee, the 2012 edition of the biennial Newport Bermuda Race generated more than $9 million for the local economy.
The report was compiled using data from an online survey among 2012 race participants that was conducted by market research firm Bonnier Custom Insights. The survey, administered in February and March, asked participants in the 635-mile race from Newport to the islands of Bermuda to estimate boat expenditures in both locations for race preparation, fuel, dockage, provisioning, repairs, equipment and supplies, as well as personal expenditures in both Newport and Bermuda for local travel costs, including accommodations, dining out, local transportation, activities, shopping, gifts and souvenirs.
According the report, the average boat in Newport spent $12,255 on preparation for the race, which translates to just more than $2 million for the fleet. Pre-race expenditures included berthing in Newport, new gear and equipment, repairs and cleaning/hauling, fuel, provisions and more.
Individual crew members reported personal spending in Newport for lodging, food, shopping and local transport that totaled about $7.1 million when calculated using an average of 10 crew members per boat.
According to the report, race participants spent an average of two nights each in Newport before the start of the race, with 50 percent staying at hotels or bed and breakfasts, and 12 percent renting private homes. Nearly 70 percent of participants dined out while in Newport, and 30 percent of them went shopping. The most popular activity aside from sailing, the report said, was doing the Cliff Walk – 13 percent tried it.
According to BROC, the combined expenditures added up to $9.1 million spent on local travel/hospitality in Newport.
In Bermuda, spending on boats was estimated at $6,515 per boat for a total of just more than $1 million. Personal spending was higher at the race’s destination, adding up to $10.7 million in Bermuda for all race participants combined. Total expenditures in Bermuda on boats and personal travel/hospitality came to an estimated $11.7 million.
“This survey clearly demonstrates the significant economic benefit which the Newport Bermuda Race delivers to both Newport and Bermuda,” said race chairman Fred Deichmann. “It also confirms the popularity of these great destinations with Bermuda Race participants, their friends and families.”
The report also noted that 94 percent of race participants would recommend Newport as a place to visit.