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Letter From The Publisher Ed Bertha – Rockin’ & Ridin’ At The Ranch

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THUNDER BY THE BAY RIDES OUT OF SARASOTA!

By Ed Bertha

“I don’t want to make excuses. I just lost and I will learn something very important.”
Francesca Schiavone

No more Thunder in downtown Sarasota? Are you serious?

Once again Thunder by the Bay ROARED into Sarasota raising over $140,000 for Suncoast Charities for Children, yet garnering the WRATH of residents, business owners and some county commissioners. Net proceeds from this annual event allows Suncoast Charities for Children to provide support to five local non-profit agencies that serve over 8,000 children, teens, and adults with special needs. Now the festival is RIDING into Lakewood Ranch and Gulf Gate.

The firm Research Data Market Research calculated that the direct and indirect overall economic impact of the 2016 Thunder by the Bay Motorcycle Festival was almost $8.9 Million (a 10.0+% increase from 2015) and generated 8,400 room nights in area lodgings (up from 6,000 in 2015).

Lakewood Ranch Communities has openly welcomed the festival knowing its longstanding history, economic impact it brings to the area, and revenues raised for Suncoast Charities for Children. “We are very excited to welcome this Festival to the Lakewood Ranch community, which will allow it to expand and grow,” stated Rex Jensen, President & CEO of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Inc.

Ron Soto, of Soto Optical and President of the Downtown Merchants Association, recently expressed his disappointment. “It’s unfortunate because downtown Sarasota is going to lose tens of thousands of dollars in revenue that ‘Thunder by the Bay’ brought in. We’ve lost the chalk festival (to Venice), now we’ve lost ‘Thunder by the Bay’. We’re losing all the events that bring in hundreds of thousands of people downtown, and the whole idea of our merchants association is to bring people downtown.”

I’ll share from personal experience that when I travel to an event like Thunder, take Daytona for example, I stay close to the event. That’s where the action is. This move is now going to negatively impact the hotels in downtown Sarasota as more rooms will be booked out east and along the interstate.

Thank you Lucy Nicandri and all the volunteers that make Thunder by the Bay happen. I’ll continue supporting this great event and charity. See you next year!

Ed Bertha

Thank You To Our New Sponsors In This Issue:

REAL Exclusive
HBK CPAs & Consultants, 12; Italian Interiors, 21; MKID Interior Design, 21; James Corwin Johnson Photography, 52.

REAL Exclusive Properties
Rinat Sidkat, 44; Judith Canero, 49; Nancy Phillips & Beth Ann Boyer, 50.

REAL Exclusive Magazine – Local Focus, Global Reach.

Copyright © 2016 REAL Exclusive Magazine www.getrealexclusive.com
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