ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Alpharetta continues to benefit from its campaign to market itself as a practical host for national and regional athletic events.
Labor Day Weekend’s annual Freedom Bowl at Milton High School brought some 800 players and 200 coaches to the area for the three-day event. That does not include the thousands of parents and fans who traveled from out of state to attend the matches.
The Freedom Bowl included six games from Aug. 29-31 and featured some of the top high school programs in the eastern U.S.
Of the 12 high schools participating in the stay-to-play event, 10 were from out of state, as far away as Tennessee and Ohio, and many had to make use of local hotels.
“Our hotel industry helps fuel the other businesses in the city,” said Janet Rodgers, president and CEO of the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Freedom Bowl players and their families stay multiple nights in Alpharetta hotels and also enjoy our shops, restaurants and entertainment venues which help perpetuate the success of those businesses.”
The CVB estimates this year’s event to have generated $162,000 in the local economy, and that only includes the players and coaches – not the families and fans.
The estimate is based on booked room-nights at Alpharetta’s 26 hotels. The CVB tracks only those blocked reservations made by teams, coaches and possibly cheer leading squads. It uses $216 — hotel, gas and meals — per day as a consistent formula to calculate economic impact.
Earlier this summer, Alpharetta co-hosted the Triple Crown USA Nationals softball tournament which pumped an estimated $1.7 million into the local economy.
The Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau has a person on staff dedicated to marketing the city for sporting events by promoting the city’s access to more than 200 fields, more than 200 dining options, 750 acres of parkland and 26 hotels. The sales person also attends sports-specific trade shows to meet tournament organizers and attract sports events to the city.
“Sports events are great for Alpharetta hotel weekend business which is attractive because corporate business is strong during the weekdays when business travel is highest,” Rodgers said.