By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
MARATHON Bahamas organisers say they are confident that the 2019 event will generate “no less” than the $ 2m in hotel room revenue produced by this year’s event.
Paul McWeeney, president of Sunshine Insurance, organiser of an event now in its 10th year, told Tribune Business: “This is going to be our tenth year anniversary and so we’re making it a bit more exciting.
“We have prize money involved, and all plans are in progress and on time. We are really excited about it this year. We expect to have a significant amount of, as we have in the past, international competitors attending. We also look forward to the Susan G Komen event.”
Marathon Bahamas will take place on January 20, 2019, one day after the Susan G Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure. Both events are part of Sunshine Insurance’s Race Weekend series.
Marathon Bahamas has been listed as one of the top 50 races in the world outside of the UK, and has won a Tourism Impact Award. For the first time, a $10,000 prize will be awarded to winners of the marathon and half-marathon, in what is being dubbed “Ten for 10”. Organisers hope that the new prize purse will entice even more runners to take part.
“Last year we’re proud to say that we generated over $2m in room revenue for the country, and that’s just dealing with the hotels,” said Mr McWeeney. “There were other related businesses such as restaurants, taxis etc. This has now become a major national event. It’s been voted as one of the 50 best marathons in the world by Runner’s World UK, and is getting a lot of attention internationally.”
As to the potential economic impact of the event, Mr McWeeney said: “It’s a bit too early to say at this point in time, but we are confident that it will be no less than 2018.”
He added that registration for Marathon Bahamas has been in line with expectations. “What tends to happen is most of the registration starts coming in towards the end of the year. That’s typically how it works, persons wait for the last month to do things, and it’s a trend we have seen for a number of years. Registration is in line with our expectation at this point in time,” Mr McWeeney said.