SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TX - Bad news for running enthusiasts and business owners, 2018 highly anticipated South Padre Island Marathon won't be back. After three consecutive years, race director Tim Scrivner is finished (pun intended) with South Padre Island’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
According to Scrivner, “I was notified by the CVB that the city would be opening a RFP (request for proposal) for a half-marathon event in 2018, I have declined to submit a proposal.
South Padre Island Marathon was billed and promoted as a destination run. According to an Economic Impact Study conducted by University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the city of South Padre Island, a total of 1,516 registered marathon participants of those a total of 409 respondents were recruited for this study.
The numbers show, “on average, study participants traveled 300 miles to attend the event, although distances traveled ranged from 12 miles to 2300 miles.”
The 2017 South Padre Island Marathon was held mid-November, a low time of year for business and tourism. According to the survey, the average household spent $750 dollars, multiplied by 1,516 race participants and the total is $1,137,000 making the run a financial success for a low time of year.
Despite the success, planning was a nightmare on all parties involved, “"The island is best setup for half marathons. running a marathon on the island is a big challenge related to getting them to miles and having it be attractive but managing traffic and those kind of things" explain CVB President Keith Arnold, "South Padre Island is becoming more of an active Center for Fitness events and running".
SPI’s CVB wants to bring shorter runs and plan multiple events on specific weekends to maximize revenue through the Hotel Occupancy Tax.
With that focus formed a wedge, “The event is a year-round undertaking, we are not willing to wait until February or March for possible approval.” Said Scrivner in a statement on the marathon’s website and social media pages, “runners are already planning their event calendar for the year…particularly those who are planning on participating in a destination race. Since more than 60% of our runners have traveled from beyond the region, not announcing a race date until 6-7 months beforehand severely hampers our opportunity for success. Destination races typically have about an 80% turnover each year. They typically begin to grow in the 4th and 5th years as previous runners begin to return. If the city will be seeking bids each year, no one will have the opportunity to grow an event into maturity.”SPI has opted for competitive bidding than commitment, “we're not going to leave that weekend unattended.” said Arnold.
Scrivner’s closing remark in his statement to runners, “I wish the finish line had not come so quickly.”
Read the full statement: http://runspi.com/
Read the full economic impact study: