PLATTSBURGH — Professional fishing tournaments brought $2.7 million in direct spending to the region last year.
That was among the findings of a newly released study conducted by Economic Insights, an economic consulting firm.
Principal consultant Dr. Colin Read was the lead of the study, which was commissioned by the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, a division of the North Country Chamber of Commerce.
“The fishing tournaments in Plattsburgh bring significant revenue to the community,” he said in a news release. “When compared to each dollar invested in hosting fees, the region stands to gain upwards of $95, depending on our assumptions.
“As we begin to measure additional impacts over time, we may even discover the economic impact to be larger yet. In terms of community investment, there are few projects one could imagine with a similar positive return.”
The study found that preparatory visits by the competitors increased the impact number to $8.2 million. Those associated with the tournaments accounted for 8,330 lodging nights and the creation of the equivalent of 34.5 full-time jobs.
The region also benefits from exposure on media outlets that broadcast tournament coverage, including ESPN and Versus. Those two networks reach an audience of 90 million and 61 million households worldwide, respectively.
Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau Director Michele Powers, vice president of marketing for the chamber, said the study reaffirmed what they already knew.
“The pro bass tournaments are an economic boon for the area. A 95-to-1 return on investment is impressive, to say the least, and then to take into account the publicity we receive via media coverage throughout the world, the return on investment is even greater,” she said.
“Needless to say, we’re happy to welcome the pro anglers back in 2013.”
Five tournaments are scheduled for this spring and summer. The season starts with the ABA Weekend Series on June 15 and concludes with the BFL Super tournament Aug. 3.
The events are expected to draw more than 2,500 professional anglers, with a prize pool of $1.5 million.
FLW Director of Tournament Operations Bill Taylor said they are always excited to bring an event to Lake Champlain.
“Lake Champlain is without question the best tournament destination in the Northeast. The support we get from the locals and communities surrounding the lake is phenomenal,” he said.
Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak said they are pleased with the 2013 schedule.
“The fishing tournaments continue to provide solid economic benefits for the North Country,” he said. “The people associated with the tournaments are wonderful, and many of them have become part of our community over the years.
“We appreciate their commitment to the area and hope it continues for years to come.”
Email Dan Heathdheath@pressrepublican.com
The 2013 Lake Champlain professional fishing tournament schedule: