FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: PR Racing, Inc.
TOYOTA PRIUS MIAMI TROPICAL MARATHON
GENERATES $13.6 MILLION IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
Hotels, Restaurants Cash in on Influx of Runners,
Marathon Helps Atract Tourists After the Hurricanes
MIAMI (October 31, 2004) - In February of 2003, Miami and Miami Beach
hosted an inaugural event that has sparked the resurrection of the running
industry in South Florida and has boosted winter tourism from outside the
state. The Toyota Prius Miami Tropical Marathon™ and Half Marathon has
planted its feet on 26.2 miles of Miami streets, leaving a positive imprint
for local business owners and hotels in downtown and the beaches. At a time
of year that has typically been reserved for Orange Bowl festivities and
the boat show, the marathon has attracted a new source of revenue for the
local economy and has created a $13.6 million economic impact in only its
second year. After hosting 5,000 runners the first year, the 2nd marathon
attracted over 8,000 runners accompanied by family and friends for the
3-day weekend. "Signature events like the marathon draw thousands of
visitors to Downtown Miami and play an integral role in the area's
revitalization," City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz said. The 2005 race is
expected to draw over 11,000 runners to the area with the addition of the
Great Florida Bank Tropical 5K benefiting Community Partnership for
Homeless, Inc. among the weekend events.
PR Racing, Inc., a locally owned company, produces the marathon with
aspirations that Miami will be host to a landmark event similar to the
Chicago and New York marathons. With an impact of almost $14 million
dollars, the race has already established itself as a prominent event for
the Downtown area and has helped rejuvenate the local economy and running
community. A grass roots effort that began on a small scale has already
planted its roots by establishing Miami as a major tourist destination for
runners and their families from across the world. "An event as significant
as the marathon that showcases the community on an international scope is a
tremendous asset to the community" said William D. Talbert III, President
and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. Considering
that 67% of race participants were drawn from outside Miami-Dade County,
the marathon has established support for Miami as a tourism hotspot for
people coming from the Midwest and Northeast. Translating race tourism into
hotel nights has also been a key point for marathon organizers who have
packed the rooms of major downtown hotels since the first event in 2003.
"The marathon has helped to fill the Hyatt Regency and other local hotels
the past two years, selling an estimated 12,000 rooms for the weekend,"
Gaby Pozo, of PR Racing said. For the January 2005 race, registration is up
and local hotels should be happy to know that almost 75% of those
registered are from outside Miami-Dade County, continuing the influx of
thousands of runners looking for a place to stay.
"While our mission is to produce one of the world's best marathons, it
is essential to recognize that we are trying to bring people to one of the
world's greatest cities" Danny Elfenbein of PR Racing said. "With almost
three quarters of our runners coming from outside Miami-Dade and almost 10%
from out of the country, it is clear that this race is a boon for tourism
and the economy."
The next step for race organizers is to increase participation to over
15,000 runners by 2007 and in doing so, substantially boost the financial
and fitness related benefits to the local community. Part of the strategy
includes marketing the race and Miami at other large races like Chicago and
the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. In the past month, PR Racing
has gone to these cities to dissuade the negative perception of the impact
by recent storms on the city and the race. Supplied with visitor guides,
organizers have been providing support to city tourism by reaching out to
the national running community and explaining the minimal effects of the
storms. "People walk by asking if Miami is still there, so we give them a
brochure and explain that Miami is the same," Elfenbein said, "and then we
invite them to experience paradise for themselves and RUN MIAMI!"
The Toyota Prius Miami Tropical Marathon™ and Half Marathon is an event
produced by PR Racing, Inc. Race weekend (January 28-30, 2005) includes the
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Health and Fitness Expo, the Great
Florida Bank Tropical 5K benefiting Community Partnership for Homeless,
Inc. culminating with a world class full marathon (26.2 miles) and half
marathon (13.1 miles) through the streets of Miami and Miami Beach.
Community Partnership for Homeless, Inc. and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society
are official charities of the 2005 Toyota Prius Miami Tropical Marathon™
and Half Marathon.