Bike Week outpaces Daytona 500 in area spending

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Bikers appear to outpace Daytona 500 fans when it comes to tourism spending, a recent marking study found.

The 10-day motorcycle rally, which kicks off on Friday, generates about $35 million more in annual spending by visitors to Volusia County than the Daytona 500 NASCAR event, the Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://bit.ly/1hzcnvk ) reported on Saturday.

The study was commissioned by Halifax Area Advertising Authority and conducted by Mid-Florida Marketing & Research.

Researchers found that Daytona 500 fans spend about $40.34 million during the Daytona 500 and the four days leading up to the event. Bike week tourists spend about $74.8 million at Bike Week.

But the study found that racing fans bring in more money, about $90 million, for the county throughout the year during all of the racing events at the Daytona Speedway.

Mid-Florida President Evelyn Fine said the results were not too surprising.

Race fans tend spend the bulk of the time at the race track to be near the main attraction - the NASCAR drivers, she said.

Bike Week participants travel throughout the region and spend more money on food, entertainment, lodging and other items, she said.

“Bike Week visitors spend on their bikes, on their backs and on their bellies,” she said.

Janet Kersey, the former president and CEO of the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, agreed.

“The bikers that come in for Bike Week are good for our economy,” she said. “They’ll go throughout the community, visiting attractions and buying souvenirs of all sorts - not just bike-related.”

More than 500,000 visitors are expected to come to the area this month to join in Bike Week festivities.

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Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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