TREASURE ISLAND – Get ready for more of a good thing.
Dominique Reiter, president and executive director of the Treasure Island Chamber of Commerce, said things went so well with this year’s Sun, Sand and Swing event May 24 on the beach that the same format will likely be used again next year.
Prior to this year, the event was called Sun, Sand and Symphony and was held over two days. It featured a variety of music that was anchored on the final night by a performance by the Tampa Bay Symphony.
However, the cost of bringing back the symphony this year was too much for the chamber to fund and the switch was made to a format featuring five bands in one day.
“If we had kept the symphony, it would have been an additional $20,000 for us,” said Reiter. “It was by necessity that we had to change the format.”
She said sponsor donations of about $18,000 cut the chamber’s cost to $7,000 for the five bands. Still, the chamber’s overall cost for producing the event was $36,000, Reiter said.
“Without sponsorship, we can’t put this on,” Reiter said. “It would just drain us.”
Sponsors included Johnson Brothers, Great Bay Distributors, Residence Inn by Marriott, Gator’s Cafe, Sloppy Joe’s, Bilmar Beach Resort, Dollar Zone, Paradign Learning and Tampa Bay Newspapers.
The event, which attracted a crowd estimated at between 3,000 and 5,000, was held under optimum weather conditions and served its purpose.
“We wanted to bring people in and show them our city,” said Reiter. “I think if the economy had been a little better we would have had a little better crowd but it was still very good.”
This is the first year the chamber brought in outside food vendors and other vendors selling a variety of merchandise.
The chamber sold 20 vendor tables at a cost of $200 each for additional revenue to defray costs.
“Overall, everything went very well,” said Reiter. “We were elbow to elbow out there and that’s a big beach.”