"It will be phenomenal": Tourism officials, businesses going whole Hog for 2010 rally
October 28, 2009 7:14 PM
Kari Barlow, Florida Freedom Newspapers
DESTIN — Tourism revenue in October 2010 is expected to get a huge boost when the Florida State Harley-Davidson Owners Group rolls into town.
The Emerald Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau announced Thursday that the Destin-Fort Walton Beach-Okaloosa Island area will host the 2010 HOG Rally.
The Emerald Coast edged out St. Petersburg-Clearwater to land the event, which is expected to have an estimated $3 million impact on the local economy.
“It will be phenomenal,” said Kathy Houchins, a member of the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council who helped make the pitch to HOG representatives. “We will fill everything up. It’s wonderful to have that kind of revenue in the third week of October.”
The Emerald Grande in Destin will be the host hotel for the four-day event, which is scheduled for Oct. 20-23.
Tourism officials made their pitch for the event last weekend at the state HOG Rally in St. Augustine, which drew more that 2,000 bikers from 27 states and four countries.
A big crowd is just what folks at the Hog’s Breath Saloon want to see.
“We welcome that,” said Mike Adams, the kitchen manager. “(Our name) just pulls them to us. It’s a cooler month, the weather’s better and there’s less tourism traffic.”