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Florida's Sports Coast finding success in Wesley Chapel

Wiregrass Ranch Sports Complex
Posted at 11:50 AM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-26 07:37:38-04

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla.  — The Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus is now home to dozens of sports and events in Wesley Chapel.

Sixteen volleyball courts, eight basketball courts, 56 fencing lanes and eight wrestling mats are all at the complex.

The facility was built on a tourism tax and brings in tons of people every year.

"So, sports tourism is a $6 billion dollar industry and what really synergizes the entire Pasco County as a tourism destination revolves around sports. And that's where Florida Sports Coast comes into play," The Director of Tourism for Pasco County Adam Thomas says. "We want to take a look just a little bit a piece of that, that market and this facility really is positioned with success."

A Residence Inn by Marriott is also under construction on the property. It should be open by the end of December.

It will have 128 rooms, meeting space and a rooftop bar.

Two years ago Pasco County made the decision to change its branding.

"Two years ago, we took the initiative to really have a positioning in Florida's tourism marketplace because we didn't have a brand identity before it was just the O.K. corral of marketing and tourism in Pasco County," explains Thomas.

"Now we have a sense of ownership in Florida's number one industry of tourism, and it was own-able. It was attainable. And we moved forward and we started seeing just the share of voice start to pick up through our marketing efforts and in return on our marketing efforts we saw our visitation, we saw our media impressions really start to take shape," explains Thomas.

You can read more about what they offer by clicking here.

But, it's not just about sports, either.

Development is skyrocketing in the area both commercial and private.

"So last year, actually, FY. 20. We went up by 16.7% when it came to commercial permits. I think it was probably over 500 commercial permits in Pasco County. So yeah, we are growing even during the pandemic, people were still coming here to Pasco County to open their businesses up," explains Mike Moore, Pasco County Commissioner.