The Pasco County Tourist Development Council may feel a little generous next week, especially if the group follows a recommendation to give an event company double the sponsorship money it would’ve normally received from the county.
The intended recipient is Mad Cap Events LLC, an Orlando-based company that is planning to bring the Savage Race back to Little Everglades Park in Dade City for two days. The race, which will be held just before Halloween, is described as “an intense 5- to 7-mile obstacle run with 25 world class obstacles, mud, fire and barbed wire,” according to the event’s website. The race is “challenging fun that will give you and your friends an adrenaline buzz that lasts for days.”
Mad Cap charges participants between $54 and $89 per day of the event, depending on how early they register. That does not include a $15 surcharge added to those prices to cover insurance.
Spectators pay $15 in advance or $25 at the gate, on top of a $10 charge for parking.
The spring race held in Pasco County generated 1,051 hotel room nights, Pasco County’s Office of Tourism Development reported. Because of that, each day could qualify for a county sponsorship of $10,000. Mad Cap, however, wants $20,000, and the Tourism Development Council is being asked to give the company a total of $40,000 — higher than the $15,000 per night starting point usually recommended for events that draw double the hotel room nights.
But there is a good reason to spend the extra money, county tourism manager Ed Caum said in a memo to the council.
“The marketing exposure we receive online with this event has been excellent,” he wrote. “Mad Cap Events LLC markets Pasco County’s Little Everglades Ranch at each of their events around the nation. Further, they have made the commitment for Pasco to be their ‘premier’ race site. (Their) events have become so popular that events in Pasco are held on both Saturday and Sunday.”
Mad Cap does not release revenue publicly, however a September 2012 story in the SportsBusiness Journal reported Mad Cap earned $500,000 on two races the company staged in its first year of operation. Two years later, it had expanded to six states, including Maryland and Pennsylvania, while continuing its presence in Florida.
The Tourism Development Council includes three elected officials — Pasco County commissioner Jack Mariano, New Port Richey councilman Chopper Davis, and Dade City mayor Camille Hernandez. It also includes leaders from Pasco’s tourism market, including Gail Cushman from Days Inn & Suites, Piyush Mulji from Hampton Inn, Kyle VonKohorn of Fairfield Inn & Suites, Toby Caroline of Paradise Lakes Resort, Gregory Riehle of Saddlebrook Resort, and Jack Phethean of Little Everglades Ranch — the venue that will host the Savage Run.
The meeting, which is open to the public, is June 18 at 10 a.m., at the West Pasco Government Center in New Port Richey.