Benderson Park Near The Forest Makes Bid For Global Rowing Event


Benderson Park Rowing site progress photo sarasota floridaResidents of The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch may soon look forward to seeing one of the world’s most preeminent rowing events take place a quick 25 minute drive away. The Nathan Benderson Park has been a major site of local and regional rowing competitions for the past few years but the scope of this facility has recently been given a two million dollar infusion for improvements. In the past year, the site has improved its course length to meet international standards, a state of the art boat house is under construction and Manatee County is carefully considering an additional five million dollar investment in a bid to attract hotels, restaurants and additional park improvements.

While the park is currently closed to the visiting public there are plans for a number of exciting opportunities for both youth and adult aquatic sports at the start of 2014. In addition to an on-site youth rowing program there will also be private lessons and masters rowing programs available from young adults to senior citizens. The Park will also be home to numerous other paddle sport competitions, from dragon boats to canoe and kayak races, as well as triathlon and cross country events. To top off this exciting list of activities Nathan Benderson Park also features a dedicated group of local volunteers that assist during the fast paced rowing regattas. Volunteers can choose to help with water activities, land based coordination or assisting with parking. Open to most age groups, this volunteer program run by John Krotec provides a vital resource to the park in addition to an excellent source of community outreach. The Park is located immediately adjacent to University Town Center – Southwest Florida’s premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination, also slated to open in early 2014. In just a short year’s time this area is likely to become a destination spot for both Manatee/Sarasota County residents in addition to tourists from around the world.

The upshot of these exciting announcements has culminated with the Sarasota County Commissioners amending their tourism promotion budget to include a bid for the 2017 World Rowing Championships. In conjunction with Sarasota County, Manatee county will contribute funds to have Nathan Benderson Park host this exciting event, which is the biggest rowing event in the world outside of the Olympics. An international panel in Switzerland will decide the host of the 2017 World Championships on May 31st. Should Sarasota/Manatee Counties successfully win their bid a massive influx of both national and international tourism income is expected. You can learn more about the Nathan Benderson Park at the website. For more news on these exciting developments about the potential Global Rowing event see the recent story in the Bradenton Times.

Stay tuned to our blog for more updates on this exciting new addition to life around The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch.