Another successful Marathon Seafood Festival is in the books! Thank you to all of our sponsors, supporters, volunteers, staff, organizers and so many others for coming together to ensure our community and visitors experienced an amazing Seafood Festival.
We saw over 22,000 people at the event this year; and more importantly for our businesses, as well as transient and tourist-related business members, about 75% of event guests were from outside Monroe County. To better determine exactly how many people came to Marathon/Middle Keys because of the Seafood Festival, we had volunteers conduct over 500 random surveys to event guests. Here is a breakdown of the survey results:
- Of all (16,990) out-of-county guests 52%, or 7,985 visitors, said they came to Marathon/Middle Keys because of the Marathon Seafood Festival
- Of the 7,985 that came to the Middle Keys because of the event; 91%, or 7,266, stayed in a Middle Keys hotel, motel, resort, or vacation rental. Translation: visitors are coming to our district because of the event and the vast majority are staying overnight in our district.
- Of the 7,266 that stayed overnight (because of the event), 30% actually extended their stay for a total of 150 additional nights!
So yes, even though the event is held during high-season, it still attracts thousands of visitors to our destination. Best of all, many of these “first-time visitors” will come back again due to their positive experience at our event. Just another reason the Marathon Seafood Festival is so vital to our community and businesses success each year.
One last great statistic is Visitor Spending (of those who only came to our event and stayed overnight for it):
- 7,266 (out-of-county visitors staying overnight who specifically came for event) x $185.00 (spending/visitor/day) x 4.5 (ave. length of stay) x 1.12 (cir. of monies locally/indirect spending) = $6,774,818 in total visitor spending for 2014 Marathon Seafood Festival!
Switching gears, and looking ahead to spring; moves us into the Marathon Chamber’s fourth annual Business Beautification Program; where our Board of Directors will award ten (10) $1,500.00 beautification grants to local Marathon/Middle Keys business-members. These grants are for businesses to move ahead with projects that will improve their façade, landscaping, and anything else that improves our Middle Keys corridor and appearance. The Board is very proud of this program, and we hope you will apply! Keep an eye out for a mailing that better explains this program, as well as an application for you to complete.
Let’s make this spring and the rest of our high season our best yet. Let’s choose to be motivated, innovative, and inspire our staff and customers to be as well. Have a great April everyone; please be sure to contact us for any business assistance, needs, and any advice you may need. Our doors are always open and no request is out of bounds.
Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce