USRowing tourism impact presented to county commissioners

On August 23 Interim President Jim Comodeca and Communications Manager Sarah Gleason from the Clermont County Convention and Visitors Bureau presented a review of the tourism impact from the 2017 USRowing Club National regatta to the Clermont County Commissioners. In just a five day span the event brought in over 3 million dollars in economic impacts and thousands of hotel room nights.

The county hosted what is now considered the largest Club Nationals in USRowing history, which contained 1,993 athletes in 1,758 entries from 114 crews.

These crews traveled both near and far representing 28 states and two countries; both Canada and Chile, making this an international competition.

“This year’s Club Nationals was, by all accounts, a huge success. The Clermont County CVB staff and volunteers continued to deliver a high-quality experience, in face of the largest Club Nationals ever held. In our three years returning to Lake Harsha, we have experienced significant investments from the community in the venue, outstanding participation from local volunteers and continuous improvement in event execution. Our experience with Clermont County CVB and the Lake Harsha venue will act as a model for other venues moving forward and has ensured that Clermont remains high on our list of local organizing committees to work with in the future,” said USRowing Senior Events Manager, AJ Dominique.

The Visitors Bureau highlighted dozens of the local sponsors which donated daily breakfast, lunches, technical equipment, tents and hundreds of bottles of water, but really stressed that the volunteers in Clermont County are what made the operations of this event such a huge success.

“There were over 500 volunteer slots that needed to be filled and we could not operate this event without all of them, Gleason said. The volunteers started pouring in from various groups willing to do different tasks including parking, trash clean up, shuttle service, water operations and land operations. Some of the larger volunteer groups included Love your Lungs, Bethel-Tate Soccer, St. Vincent de Paul/St. Elizabeth, Young Life, Irvine Wood Recovery, Paddling for Cancer and Lifeline Christian Missions. The Visitors Bureau conducted a “give back” program which insured donations to all organizations that filled ten volunteer slots or more. Over 6,000 dollars was donated back to local community organizations.

During the presentation the Visitors Bureau was able to recognize a few of the main volunteer groups that helped with event operations. For the third year in a row, Clermont DD provided the shuttle service the entire week, Civil Air Patrol made an excellent first impression as parking attendants as guests were arriving on property.

Both Boy Scout Troop 237 and Cub Scout Pack 477 kept the property clean and presentable to thousands of visits. “I would have liked to recognize all of the volunteer groups at this meeting, but these three organizations were our biggest volunteer groups and together they spent hundreds of hours at the event,” said Gleason.

While the Club National regatta will be traveling to another part of the country next year, the Visitors Bureau guarantees a national rowing event will be back to Clermont County in the near future. “We were lucky to have Club Nationals three years in a row,” Gleason said. “We are working hard to keep water churning on Harsha Lake.”