- Feb 15, 2005
Check out this thread
Who produced the study?
Great thread and it brought up a lot of great points that are valid today.
We need expanded rec facilities (ball fields, pool, tennis courts) for OUR community- adults and kids. Frank Brown Park has generated so much because they have the right setup over there- lots of lower cost hotel rooms, big box stores, lots of affordable family dining options (don't get me wrong- we have some affordable options- but nowhere near the numbers of rooms and restaurant seats needed for thousands of kids to come in town for a weekend). I have lots of friends who spends thousands a year on their kids' travel teams- out of town every weekend. But they will not blow the whole travel team season budget on an expensive rental and dining in South Walton- and these people have money. Teams stay together in the same hotels and condo complexes, families hang together, etc. Other than Miramar (and that will be pricy), where are they going to do that in SoWal? All the dollars will leave SoWal and go to the places that can provide what the tournament attendees need, like PCB- or are we planning on adding these types of lodging, commercial retail, and chain restaurants to SoWal? Yes, these tournaments pump hundreds of thousands into the local economy- but because it is large numbers of people spending smaller amounts per family than the average SoWal visitor.
Our local kids deserve a great place to play and practice sports and be ready to compete at out of town tournaments- and our focus should not be about bringing big tournaments here. At some point our community and local government needs to make this happen for OUR kids, not for a revenue builder that won't bring in the revenue that the supporters think it will because the rest the needs of a successful sports tournament (affordable lodging and dining) don't exist here. Our daughter plays 3 sports, but I live here because it is not Panama City Beach or a big tournament town. Why are we trying something new? Go back to the thing that brings people here- our natural beauty and the cultural aspect of our area.