Naples Rocked Weekend of December 8-10 with Tourism Events to Shine Light on Destination Post-Hurricane Irma

Naples, Fla. (December 12, 2017) – Major events in Collier County this past weekend brought national attention to our community’s recovery from Hurricane Irma. The Naples Is Rockin’ concert with Sugar Ray, along with sports tourism events including the QBE Shootout, Florida State Pickleball Championships, Sports Recruiting Soccer Showcase and Football University’s Florida regional qualifier games brought many thousands of people to the area. And in the case of the QBE Shootout our community received high profile television coverage of the area on the Golf Channel and NBC Sports.

Saturday evening the Naples is Rockin’ concert took place in downtown Naples to benefit those hit hardest by Hurricane Irma. The concert featured headline act Sugar Ray with Mark McGrath, local artist and “The Voice” finalist Casey Weston and Zac Brown tribute band “20Ride.” Online ticket sales and sales at the gate brought in just under $40,000. The presenting sponsor for the concert was Arthrex. Other contributing sponsors included the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau, Fresh from Florida, McQuaid and Company, Waterman Broadcasting, Florida Weekly and Renda Broadcasting. Attendance was estimated at 2,000.

Proceeds from the sponsorships and gate receipts will be distributed by the Community Foundation of Collier County and United Way to those in our community with the largest unmet needs after Hurricane Irma through the Collier Comes Together Disaster Relief Fund.

This past weekend Naples also hosted the QBE Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. For the 17th consecutive year, Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman hosted the late season specialty PGA-sanctioned tournament at Tiburon. This year, 24 pro players competed on 12 two-person teams, including LPGA superstar Lexi Thompson, competing in the Shootout for the second consecutive year. She attracted a lot of media attention and had a large gallery of fans in attendance at Tiburon.

The tournament showcased our community’s full recovery from Irma and great golf assets to a large national audience on the Golf Channel for both live and delayed coverage. Television coverage included placement of Collier tourism commercials letting viewers know that Florida’s Paradise Coast region of Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades is looking great and open for business.

Also, taking place on the busy weekend were the Florida State Pickleball Championships at East Naples Community Park featuring 300 pickleball enthusiasts, which generated both hotels room nights and visitor spending in our community. Additionally, the Sports Recruiting Soccer Showcase took place at North Collier Regional Park. This third-year event featured athletes ages 15-18 and brought in coaches and recruiters from the Northeast and Midwest.

Beginning next weekend, Collier County will host the start of the Football University (FBU) National Championships for youth football all stars from all over the U.S. competing for a national championship in their age groups from grades sixth through eighth. This past weekend, three Southwest Florida all-star football teams vied for spots in the championships during the FBU Florida Regional games at Barron Collier High School. The three Southwest Florida teams lost out to teams from Tampa and Dade County that will be advancing to Championship Week. Over 500 athletes played while over 1,000 fans cheered them on in the stands.

About Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the official tourism marketing and management agency for Collier County, Florida, known as Florida’s Paradise Coast. The CVB produces the area’s ongoing destination marketing campaigns, tourism website and visitor guides, and provides information and assistance for travel media, group conference, meeting and sports event planners, tour operators, and travel agents. Tourism is the key economic engine for Collier County. More than 1.8 million visitors annually provide an economic impact of nearly $2 billion and support over 37,000 local jobs. Ongoing destination marketing by the CVB is the key driver of visitation resulting in short-term stays in paid lodging that collect the Collier County Tourism Development Tax, which pays for beach renourishment, destination marketing, county museums, and cultural and event grants.

For more information about Collier County Tourism, call the visitors bureau at 239-252-2384. For information on vacationing or holding meetings in the destination, visit www.ParadiseCoast.com. For information about bringing a sports event to the area, visit www.ParadiseCoast.com/sports. Follow the destination on Twitter and Instagram @ParadiseCoast, and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheParadiseCoast.

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Media Contact:
Jack Wert, jackwert@colliergov.net, 239-404-1682

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