Setting up for success in America's Sports & Family Fun Capital
Lake Erie Shores & Islands is America’s Sports & Family Fun Capital®! Whether it’s kicking back with toes in the sand or kicking the winning goal, teams are finding that the Shores & Islands region is an extraordinary year-round location to combine sports travel with a family vacation. While the groups and sports industry was not immune to the effects of COVID-related restrictions, the team Lake Erie Shores & Islands continued working hand in hand with organizers of events that were scheduled to take place during this past year and even with tournaments that were not originally scheduled. For example, did you know there were several major fishing tournaments that were set to take place in other states which became displaced due to pandemic travel restrictions? The sports team at Lake Erie Shores & Islands was able to connect organizers with city and county officials so that these tournaments could find host sites in locations such as Sandusky, Huron, and Port Clinton. On average, by using the Destinations International Event Impact Calculator, weekend sport tournaments during 2020 generated over half-a-million dollars in direct economic impact for the area. Now that we are entering healthier times and we continue to establish relationships with event stakeholders, the message is spreading in the sports channels that Lake Erie Shores & Islands is a great sports destination and that our team is here to help.
Lake Erie Shores & Islands wants to create positive economic impact by leading the community’s efforts to attract, support, and promote youth, amateur, collegiate, and professional sporting and recreational events. The destination also seeks to maximize the potential of local sports facilities and venues while providing leadership and guidance to the public and private sectors on the development of sporting events which will positively benefit the quality of life of local citizens. Here are a few ways in which Lake Erie Shores & Islands works towards those goals:
• Grants: Lake Erie Shores & Islands provides grants for event owners who want to host sporting events in our destination. The mission is to create an economic impact through sports by attracting large events that result overnight stays, create media exposure, and generate awareness of the destination. These grant dollars can be used in a variety of ways such as marketing or transportation. During this pandemic crisis, these dollars can be of even more value. The goal is to do everything we can to not only keep events in Lake Erie Shores & Islands, but to continue in building a strong and active sports culture.
• Added Value: When working with event planners, one of the priorities is to identify how to make their event bigger and better. This will look different for each event and we encourage event organizers to schedule a planning meeting with Lake Erie Shores & Islands! Some general ways in which we can help raise awareness and impact of each event include:
- Welcome bags and gifts for attendees & coaches
- Sports discount program and meal assistance
- Hotel room block assistance
- Event marketing
- Connection with community partners
• Pandemic specific guideline assistance: As the thought leader for sports in our region, Lake Erie Shores & Islands is committed to staying abreast of the most current guidelines and restrictions for local sporting events. We are happy to brainstorm and consult with event organizers during the planning stages and provide assistance.
• Sports Advisory Council: This is a group comprised of area city and county officials, local businesses, athletic directors, sports venue operators, and event organizers. The group takes pride in being the experts on hosting sporting events and can assist organizers with the planning stages to make these events as efficient and exciting as possible.
The sports landscape may look different but Lake Erie Shores & Islands is continuously working with our community partners and event organizers to not only provide fun and memorable sports visits, but a safe environment for athletes and their families. Find out why we are America’s Sports & Family Fun Capital®! Learn more reaching out to Chris Lewis, Sports Tourism Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow/like @ChrisLESISports for Shores & Islands sport updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.