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Athletic events fill hotels, local economy

Posted: August 15, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 15, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Swimmers compete in the Stage 6 finish of a Canyons Aquatics Club event of California in Santa Clarita in February 2008.

The final stretch of summer has brought multiple regional-athletic events to Santa Clarita, which city officials say resulted in scores of occupied local hotel rooms.

There were 1,002 hotel rooms booked July 25 through July 30 for the 2012 USA Swimming Summer Sectional Championships, hosted by the Canyons Aquatic Club and featuring senior-level swimmers from across California and Nevada.

Nearly every swimmer on the USA Olympic team has competed and medaled at one of the Sectional Championships, hosted around the nation, according to the Canyons Aquatic Club. The swim events were held at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center and Castaic Recreation Center.

Swim competitors and their families stayed in at least three local hotels, with more than 1,000 rooms being booked, said Russell Sypowicz, economic development analyst for the city of Santa Clarita.

“It was a huge event,” said Jason Crawford, city marketing and economic development manager. “It filled up the hotels. They were really happy.”

Large events generate money for the local hotels, restaurants and retailers, as well as the city via a 2-percent room tax collected by local hotels. The special tax, created by the City Council in 2010, funds the city’s Tourism Marketing District — designed to attract visitors to the area who in turn pump more money into local businesses.

Sypowicz said the city has not conducted a formal economic impact report for the swimming tournament, but called the event’s economic impact “substantial.”

“We expect to host it again next year as well,” Crawford said of the championship swim event.

The swimming tournament was not the only athletic event bringing visitors to the SCV. This past weekend, the Los Angeles Volleyball Academy hosted the inaugural Foothill Invitational High School Summer Tournament in Santa Clarita, with 21 high school teams from California participating. The academy hopes to make it an annual event.

Sypowicz said this weekend, Aug. 17-19, the city will host more than 700 registrants for the California Bowling Association Senior Tournament at Santa Clarita Lanes.

The city will also host the Indian Summer Classic baseball tournament at the Hart Baseball Complex. There will be 40 teams participating in the tournament on Sept. 15 and 16, hosted by the U.S. Specialty Sports Association.

There will also be multiple cross country meets in Santa Clarita. The Master’s College will host a meet at Central Park on Sept. 22 and the Pac 12 will host a preview meet and its Pac 12 Championship meet at Robinson Ranch Golf Course, on Sept. 21 and Oct. 27 respectively.


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