According to an Economic Impact Report recently released, the 2005 Sea Otter Classic generated $28.6 million for local communities. The event is a major vehicle to promote tourism for the region.

“The Sea Otter Classic has become one of our area’s major events, enhancing Monterey’s tourism business in our off-peak season,” says Julie Armstrong, Marketing Communications Director, Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “With 69% of the audience coming from outside our local market, it not only brings in new revenue but helps in the marketing exposure of our destination.”

Each year the Sea Otter Classic brings Monterey County to the headlines of the cycling and adventure sports community worldwide. Monterey County is now considered one of the top cycling destinations in the world.

“We’re certainly pleased to create a positive economic impact for our wonderful community,” said Frank Yohannan, President of Sea Otter Classic and Monterey resident. “But we’re more delighted to introduce young people to the wonderful sport of cycling.”

Included in the thousands of cycling enthusiasts who regularly attend Sea Otter are nearly 5,000 campers who transform the Laguna Seca Recreation Area into a massive tent city. “Sea Otter is a significant revenue source for us and kicks off our special event season,” says Lavonne Chin, Special Events Manager, Monterey County Parks Department. “It’s a great, positive family event that brings positive people to the area.”

“April is not a big vacation month for Monterey but we always sell out during Sea Otter and pull in $10,000 – $11,000 a night,” says Les Terry, co-owner of Los Laureles Lodge and a Sea Otter Mountain Bike Cross Country cyclist. “We always increase the number of shifts for our staff during the event and when the ‘Roadies’ ride by everyone runs out and rings their cow bells. The event is an awful lot of fun.”

Frank Pinto, owner of Joselyn’s Bicycles in Monterey, experiences a huge boost in sales during Sea Otter. “In the four days of the event, I bring in a ½-month worth of sales.”

The Sea Otter Classic Economic Impact Report was prepared by Fredric Kropp & Associates. The primary goal of the Analysis was to assess the economic impact the 2005 Sea Otter Classic had on the greater Monterey/Salinas area. A second objective of the project was to determine attendee’s satisfaction with the event.

Key Findings –

• When indirect multiplier effects are included, the total estimated impact on the Monterey/Salinas area is $21.51 million to $28.68 million, based on multipliers of 1.5 to 2.0.

• The direct estimate of the economic impact of the 2005 Sea Otter Classic on the greater Monterey/Salinas area is approximately $14.34 million. This consists of spectator spending of $10.51 million, athlete spending of $2.87 million, and vendor and sponsor spending of $0.92 million.

• In general, spectators were highly satisfied with the SOC – 89% of the respondents agreed that they would recommend the SOC to a friend; 87% agreed that the overall quality is good; and 82% plan to return within the next three years.

• In general, athletes were highly satisfied with the SOC – 96% of the respondents agreed that they would recommend the SOC to a friend, 91% said that their overall SOC experience was either good or excellent, and 95% plan to return within the next three years.