Governor Scott Visits Rowing Venue

By | August 20, 2013

Click Here To Search The Sarasota MLS!

Benderson Rowing VenueIf the governor is coming to visit your regatta venue, why not invite 42,000 visitors to the facility the same weekend.

Gov. Rick Scott’s first visit to the World Class Rowing and Aquatic Sports Center at Nathan Benderson Park coincided with opening day for the U.S. Rowing Masters National Championships, the largest event ever held there. “This is going to help tourism and this is going to help jobs,” Scott told reporters. “This is a great day for the state of Florida but also for the communities of Sarasota and Manatee Counties. I want to thank the Benderson family for making this happen.”

At a ceremony early Thursday, Scott awarded Benderson Development CEO Randy Benderson with the Governor’s Business Ambassadors’ Award. The event drew out dignitaries and celebrities from both Sarasota and Manatee counties, with state Sens. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, and Nancy Detert, R-Venice, rubbing elbows with ESPN sportscaster and area philanthropist Dick Vitale.

The state ultimately contributed millions to construction of the regatta facility, but Scott’s support was won over time. His first year as governor, Scott vetoed $5 million in state funding for the facility. The next year, after heavy lobbying from business leaders in the region and tourism officials from across the state, the governor supported a $10 million state investment. “The reason I supported it was that they explained to me the economic impact,” Scott said. “What you learn in this job, the more you have tourists in this state, the more they go to restaurants and go to hotels and move their businesses here.”

Galvano, a close ally of the governor and supporter of funding for the regatta, said events like the tournament this weekend benefit a region well beyond the Sarasota-Manatee area. “If you bring people here internationally, chances are they will travel within the state of Florida while they are here,” he said. The $25 million impact from the rowing tournament reaches all of the Tampa Bay market and well beyond, Galvano said.

As for whether more state funding goes to Benderson Park, Scott was noncommittal, but not dismissive. “It’s always hard to balance needs,” he said. “I want to grow jobs and that’s why I am interested in this. I always look at projects that come to me. If there is a return for the taxpayers, I will always look at it.”

Compliments of


Leave Your Comment

Your email will not be published or shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>