About 10,000 tourists will flock to Cauble Park this Friday and Saturday to enjoy the wakeboarding competition. Though the city has held the event at Dallas Landing for the last seven years, high water levels at Lake Allatoona have forced event organizers to move the competition to the park on Lake Acworth.
Bo Morris, a spokesman for the event, said the shift has been smooth sailing, though event-goers should note that Lake Acworth won’t be able to accommodate public access to the water by boat.
“The main difference is people aren’t going to be allowed to view the competition from their boats this year,” Morris said. “Otherwise, it’s a great venue. Everybody will get to watch from up on the beach.”
The thousands of beach-goers should be a boon to the local economy, according to county and city leaders.
Lindsey Burruss, marketing director for Cobb Travel and Tourism, said event attendees will be staying in nearby hotels, going to restaurants and shopping in the area.
“We estimate it will have more than $1 million economic impact,” Burruss said. “That’s money coming back into the county, which is huge.”
Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood said the diversity of people the event brings to the area is also a plus.
“It’s a younger crowd, which is a little different, and they’re shopping in our city, spending time in our city,” Allegood said. “It’s a big tourist draw and chance to have a lot of folks visit that would not normally come.”
James Albright, the city’s parks and recreation director, said the city makes great strides to appeal to the younger demographic by playing host to a block party following Saturday’s competition.
The block party will be on Senator Russell Avenue, which will be closed to traffic from 7 to 11 p.m. At the block party, the award ceremony will be held to announce the day’s winners and guests can enjoy outdoor dining featuring local favorites, including Henry’s Louisiana Grill, Center Street Tavern and Fusco’s Via Roma.
“We work with the Pro Tour to do the awards at the block party in historic downtown to keep the participants and spectators downtown and encourage them to spend money in our community,” Albright said.
Morris had nothing but praise to offer when commenting on working with Acworth officials.
“They go out of their way to make all of their resources available to us to work with,” Morris said. “The venue, the set up is all ideal for this sort of contest.”
Today, more than 100 pro athletes will be practicing out on the lake to prepare for the competition.
Morris said the competition will feature athletes competing in the Pro Men, Junior Pro Men and Pro Women categories. After the finals round Saturday, the event will feature a “big air” competition where athletes will jump of a center ramp to reach maximum heights. No date has been announced, but the event will air on the NBC Sports Network.