Cup delivers bang for its buck

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Princess Satab streaks past the winning post to win the 2019 Rockingham Beach Cup.
Camera IconPrincess Satab streaks past the winning post to win the 2019 Rockingham Beach Cup. Credit: Rae Heston

The Rotary Club of Palm Beach has secured $175,000 from the City of Rockingham to run the 2020 Rockingham Beach Cup.

The event is planned, managed and run by the club, with help from local business owners, charities, and supported by local volunteers.

It ran in 2016, 2017 and 2019, but was cancelled in 2018 because of the Rockingham Foreshore redevelopment works.

Last year’s event drew an estimated 16,000 people to the Rockingham foreshore over the course of the weekend. More than 7000 of these people were visitors from outside of the City.

Research that analysed the economic impact of the event in 2019 found it injected a total of $1.3 million into the local economy, including nearly $600,000 in spending by visitors.

The Palm Beach club sought $200,000 in funding for the 2020 race and associated events.

But staff advised the council not approve $20,000 requested by the club for a custom-built destination marketing Rockingham sign to be placed in the water and $5000 for fireworks to launch.

The $175,000 will help the club provide professional event management, service provider tenders, marketing, event launch, food festival and horse racing.

While the event is scheduled for Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15, if social restrictions are not eased by September 30, the club will postpone the event until November 2021

The club’s submission and scheduling is structured in three phases — event preparation, event tender and event delivery — to provide financial protections given the uncertainty of COVID-19.

City staff said the 2020 Cup provided a “unique economic and tourism marketing opportunity”.

“This could be one of the first large events to take place in WA coming out of COVID-19 restrictions, providing an opportunity to leverage additional media support and coverage for this unique and iconic event,” they said. “This event supports tourism growth and economic development, as well as contributes meaningfully to changing the perception of Rockingham.”

Councillors voted unanimously in support of the “iconic event”, with $175,000 allocated to the club.

Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said the Cup played a vital role in enhancing the City’s local economy and its profile as the place where the coast comes to life.

He said this year’s event could provide a “major economic and tourism marketing opportunity” following COVID-19. “The timing and nature of the event also aligns with the vision of the City’s Rediscover Rockingham tourism marketing brand, which is aimed at marketing Rockingham to attract visitors from across our state to come and visit Rockingham,” he said. “Given the potential economic and tourism benefits to the community, plus the fact the 2019 edition delivered a significant return on investment, the City of Rockingham Council is happy to provide funding to support this important iconic event once again.”

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