The ING Hartford Marathon, which won’t have that corporate name at its next running in October, created
$14.1 million in financial value this past fall, a 26 percent increase over 2012 according to a new report.
The value came from mostly from direct spending of $9.4 million, largely on hotels and restaurants for the thousands of out-of-state runners, volunteers and fans who descended on the capital city for the Oct. 12 event.
The report by Witan Intelligence Inc., released by the Hartford Marathon Foundation, attributed the larger economic impact to more participants and higher spending per party — an average of $388 for groups attending the event together, which averaged 3 people. That per-party figure was up 37 percent from 2012 and comprised 34 percent lodging and 22 percent meals.
Maybe I’m biased as a runner in the half-marathon, one of five events that drew 17,381 runners, but this seems to understate the economic value at a time when we see a lot of tourism studies that overstate. The reason is that economic value comes from a combination of psyched locals and motivated visitors, both of which the marathon brings in good number, with intensity.
“We are proud to help contribute such a positive impact back to the businesses and communities that have welcomed our race participants, volunteers and spectators year after year,” said Beth Shluger, executive director of the Hartford Marathon Foundation.
It’s unclear how the spending by local sponsors affects the total. Shluger said in October that the marathon collected $2.8 million in contributions, including $1.6 million in cash and the rest in-kind.
Despite the financial success, the foundation is still looking for a title sponsor for this year and beyond, as ING has dropped out after spinning off from its corporate parent. Shluger reported progress in talks with local corporations but nothing solid to announce yet.