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Study: Newport race participants spent $12 million in Bermuda

Participants in the Newport to Bermuda sailing race spent almost $12 million on the Island, showing what a huge boost to the economy the biennial race is during just a few weeks in June.

The newly released results of an economic impact study by the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee showed the 2012 Newportto Bermuda Race generated an estimated total of $20.8 million in local expenditures for both Newport and Bermuda.

The world-famous ocean race is run jointly by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

The committee commissioned the market research firm Bonnier Custom Insights to conduct an online survey among last year’s race participants to determine the economic impact of the race.

The race began on June 15, 2012 in Newport, Rhode Island, with 164 sailing yachts racing 635 miles from Newport to Bermuda; some 156 yachts completed the course and were scored as finishing in Bermuda.

The survey asked race participants 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. The survey was performed in February and March.

Spending on boats in Bermuda was estimated at $6,515 a boat, or a total of slightly 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 by the 2012 Newport Bermuda fleet 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,” race chairman Fred Deichmann said in a statement. “It also confirms the popularity of these great destinations with Bermuda Race participants, their friends and families.”

The average expenditure per boat in Newport before the race was $12,255, or an estimated total of slightly more than $2 million spent locally by the fleet to prepare for the race. Race preparation and boat expenditures included berthing in Newport, new gear and equipment, repairs and cleaning/hauling, if needed, fuel and provisions.

Crew members reported significant spending personally in Newport for lodging, food, shopping and local transport, which tallied an impressive $7.1 million overall when calculated using an average of 10 crew members per boat. The combined investment in Newport’s local economy added up to $9.1 million on boats, race preparation and local travel/hospitality.

Economic boost: Spending on supplies and repairs in Bermuda was estimated at $6,515 a yacht in the Newport race, while personal spending added up to $10.7 million in Bermuda for all race participants combined.

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Published May 16, 2013 at 11:39 am (Updated May 16, 2013 at 11:40 am)

Study: Newport race participants spent $12 million in Bermuda

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