$24m tourism boost expected for 2018 venue
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The news that the Bassmaster Classic is to return to Lake Hartwell in South Carolina for the second time in four years has been welcomed – and not just by the state’s angling community.
Independent research has revealed that the economic impact on host communities in recent years has averaged more than $24 million.
The 48th ‘world championship’ of bass fishing will see thousands of consumers and industry representatives descend on Greenville and Anderson, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, bringing with them an avalanche of tourism dollars.
In addition to the competition itself, fished over three days on Lake Hartwell, the event will also host The Bassmaster Classic Expo, an exhibition seen by tackle manufacturers from all over the U.S. as the ideal place to showcase their new-season products. The Expo will be located in Greenville’s 250,000 square-foot TD Convention Center.
“The opportunity to host the Bassmaster Classic for the second time in four years solidifies the Upstate of South Carolina as a destination, nationally, for bass fishing,” said Neil Paul, Executive Director, Visit Anderson.
“Our Anderson County team, our partnership with Greenville, support from our regional partners and the State have proven vital to our success and we continue to experience returns in residual tourism from hosting the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.”
“Bringing the Bassmaster Classic back to the Upcountry of South Carolina was an easy decision,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S.. “Despite record cold temperatures when we were there in February 2015, fishing fans turned out in force. Our attendance of 103,000 those three days marked a 40% increase over the 2008 Classic and was one of our biggest turnouts ever.
“We expect next year’s Classic to be even bigger and better — and warmer,” Akin added, noting that the fishing competition will take place almost a month later in 2018 than during 2015.
It is the third time Lake Hartwell has been chosen for the Classic venue, the first being in 2008.