FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mark Winitz
Napa Valley Marathon Bolsters Local Economy
NAPA, Calif. - (January 21, 2005) - The 27th Annual Napa Valley Marathon,
scheduled for Sunday, March 6, 2005, is known as "the biggest little
marathon in the west." Soon, the claim of "little marathon" may sound
archaic as each year the popular 26.2-mile road race gets larger. The event
will accept 2,300 runners in 2005, its biggest crowd ever. The marathon has
sold out for the past several years, and this year should be no exception.
Race organizers now report that these figures help fortify the economy of
the greater Napa Valley.
Runners can register for the marathon online or download an entry form at
www.napa-marathon.com. Alternatively, contact the race at NVM, PO Box 4307,
Napa 94558, email: , telephone: (707) 255-2609 or FAX: (707)
257-6515. The $85 early registration fee for the race goes up to $100 on
entries received after February 1. There is no race-day registration.
Entry limits for the race are largely determined by the number of available
hotel rooms in the world-renowned Napa Valley wine producing and tasting
"We keep building more hotels here," explained Co-Race Director Rich Benyo,
"and every year the hotels are filled for the marathon."
Although the region is a boon for tourism, the Napa Valley Marathon's March
date helps provide an economic filler for local businesses before the
tourist-packed summer and fall months arrive. Before now, race organizers
could not quantify the local economic impact of the race.
"These are important numbers for any road race, especially a marathon, to
have," remarked David Hill, who co-directs the race with Benyo. "Now, our
new economic survey shows that the Napa Valley Marathon has a significant
positive economic effect on the Napa Valley during race weekend."
Allan Steinfeld, race impresario for the ING New York City Marathon,
attended last year's Napa Valley Marathon. He observed the substantial
spending traits of the 2,200 entrants, plus their relatives and friends
(approximately 4,000 in 2004) at the race on wine tasting and purchases,
dining in highly acclaimed restaurants and souvenir and gift buying. That's
when Steinfeld recommended to Benyo and Hill that they conduct the survey.
In October 2004, a 32-question e-mail survey was sent to 1,845 runners who
participated in the '03 and '04 Napa Valley Marathon races. 472
participants responded. The economic assessment shows that the local
economic impact of the Napa Valley Marathon is between $593,000 and
$1,465,000 annually in direct spending. (The survey's questions identified
ranges of expenditures in various categories rather than specific dollar
amounts. See summary below.)
The indirect outcomes of runners' spending - such as additional jobs or
employee hours created by the influx of runners, their friends and families
into the Napa Valley - were not calculated. Neither was the possible
long-term fiscal impact of return visits by runners to the area - or their
recommendations to friends and co-workers - after they've had a taste of
the region's attractions. The average marathon participant brought two
additional people with them for the race. 73.8 percent of race participants
(1,900 starters, 1,743 finishers in '04) are first-timers at the NVM
according to the study.
In comparison, the 2003 ING New York City Marathon (35,000 finishers) had
an economic impact of $140 million - by far the largest bump of any U.S.
road race according to Running USA, a professional association for the road
race industry based in Santa Barbara, Calif. (This figure, of course,
includes expenditures for local NYC taxi transportation!) Other marathon's
numbers in terms of economic clout: Honolulu ('03, 22,100 finishers) $86.8
million, LaSalle Bank Chicago ('03, 32,400 finishers) $80 million, HP
Houston ('04, 5,800 finishers) $12 million and Rite Aid Cleveland ('04,
6,000 finishers - all events) $6.8 million.
"Running has an incredible but largely unrecognized economic impact both
locally and nationally," commented Craig Masback, the CEO of USA Track &
Field, in 1999.
Since then, civic awareness, largely fostered by organizations such as
Running USA and its member road races and event promoters, have helped to
boost the commercial and charitable perception of running as it compares to
other sporting events.
In Napa Valley Marathon's case, its self-imposed definition of "little"
doesn't translate to "insignificant" in either local economic or
philanthropic terms. Since its first running in 1979, the NVM has hosted
more than 25,000 runners over its Calistoga-to-Napa course on the scenic
Silverado Trail. Each of these runners has indirectly donated to worthy
local causes. All proceeds from the Napa Valley Marathon (a non-profit
organization) are donated to local charities in the Napa Valley. In
addition, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training program will
field a group of participants at this year's NVM. T&T participants raise
funds to cure deadly diseases.
The Napa Valley Marathon has earned a reputation for outstanding runner
support, attention to detail and a breathtaking point-to-point course. In
its January 2002 issue, Runner's World magazine named the Napa Valley
Marathon one of the Top 20 Marathons in the U.S.
The 2005 edition of the NVM has again been selected by the Road Runners
Club of America as its National Marathon Championships - a designation it
has received since 1998.
Napa Valley Marathon weekend includes a Sports and Fitness Expo, Saturday,
March 5 from 9am to 5pm at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa. Also on
slate is the marathon's popular Marathon College, an innovative
speaker/seminar program that includes a "faculty" composed of respected
running authorities and celebrity runners.
Napa Valley Marathon By the Numbers
Annual local (Napa Valley) economic impact via NVM participant and visitor
related purchases (2003 and 2004):
Shopping $ 96,000
Food & Beverage $150,000
Food & Beverage $430,000
The Napa Valley Marathon, a Running USA member, appreciates generous
sponsor support from Calistoga Mountain Spring Water, Gatorade, ASICS
America Corporation, Silverado Trail Wineries Association, Marathon &
Beyond, Road Runners Club of America, USA Track & Field, Marathon Photo,
Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa, St. Helena Hospital, CBS 5 and UPN Bay
Area, GU, KVYN/99.3 The Vine, KVON 1440, Wines Central, MRC Delivery
Solutions, Pacific Union College, Napa Running Company and Queen of the
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