America’s Cup opportunities are ‘vast’

  • Michelle Halpin

    Michelle Halpin

A mini-business boom is on offer to street vendors at the first major America’s Cup event in Bermuda in October.

Between 80 and 100 vendors are to be signed up for a Front Street party to mark the on-Island start of the America’s Cup World Series.

America’s Cup Event Authority events manager Michelle Halpin said: “This event will showcase Bermuda — it has to go off without a hitch and have that wow factor.”

She added: “We can’t take on everyone, but we will try to get as many people as possible from particular sectors involved. We want to showcase the best that Bermuda has to offer.”

Ms Halpin was speaking after more than 200 people attended a meeting at Hamilton’s Heritage Worship Centre on Tuesday night to hear about money-spinning opportunities connected to the 2017 event and its run-up.

She added that anyone interested in drumming up business on the back of the event should register on the America’s Cup website and with the Chamber of Commerce and Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC).

Ms Halpin added: “This is just a part of the whole community involvement. We need to form a team Bermuda, not in the racing aspect, but coming together to pull this off.

“People have been very receptive and supportive — we’ve already had about 150 people express an interest in volunteering.”

She added the America’s Cup business connect programme would provide opportunities for construction firms, taxi operators, hairdressers and childminding services as the competition picks up.

“The business opportunities are vast,” Ms Halpin said. “It’s providing anything we need to construct the village or services for the families who have relocated to Bermuda. There are about 70 different sectors of the business community we are looking at.”

America’s Cup communications director Peter Rusch said that the organisers wanted to create a “village” feel for the 35th America’s Cup. He added: “One of the few places we can do that is Dockyard. That idea of a one-stop shop at Dockyard is very appealing for the organisers of the event.”

He added that the protected waters of the Great Sound were “ideal” for the hi-tech foiling catamarans.

The meeting also heard that up to half a million people are expected to attend the first World Series event, due to be held in Portsmouth, England, from July 23 to 26.

The launch event in Bermuda next month will feature a hospitality area and media centre at Pier Six on Front Street, a food court, a massive TV screen, as well as a “fun zone” and entertainment area with a 40ft stage for live performers.

In addition, a family zone will be set up Albuoy’s Point, featuring entertainment for children.

Jennifer Pitcher, the America’s Cup community outreach manager, said: “The feel will be similar to Harbour Nights; it’s kind of like Harbour Nights on steroids.”

The deadline for vendor applications is July 5, with final decisions on successful bidders made in mid-August.

BEDC director Erica Smith told the meeting: “I would encourage any business to conduct market research and to know the demographics for this event. If people know who is potentially coming here, they can position their businesses to target that market.

“People should get their financing in order now; I would hate to see businesses miss out on opportunities because of a lack of financing.”

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Published Jun 4, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 3, 2015 at 10:07 pm)

America’s Cup opportunities are ‘vast’

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