Officials measure lure of fishing events

With the first of six fishing tournaments in Massena under their belt, local tournament organizers want to hear about the impact on the community. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — With the first of six fishing tournaments in Massena under their belt, local tournament organizers want to hear about the impact on the community.

“The folks who are organizing the series of fishing tournaments this summer in Massena are seeking input from area businesses to help determine the economic impact these great events are bringing to our community,” said James Murphy, executive director of the Massena Business Development Corporation.

The first tournament was the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour, considered the highest level of competitive fishing. A total of 80 anglers travel throughout the United States with Massena serving as the fifth stage of their seven-stage regular season in their quest to take home the top prize of $100,000.

Mr. Murphy said the tournament gave Massena “some unprecedented publicity.”

The local and regional coverage of the tournament was great, but Massena also reached a national audience through livestreams of all the action and the type of national coverage that only a $100,000 top prize will bring. Massena will also be showcased in October, with a two-hour episode on the Discovery Channel,” he said.

He said participants, as well as sponsors and organizers enjoyed their stay in Massena.

“All through the week-long event, we heard nothing but accolades from the pros about the quality of the fishing and the facilities at the Massena Intake, the beauty of the area and the friendliness of the people here,” Mr. Murphy said.

But organizers haven’t heard about the impact on Massena, and that’s what they want to know. So they’re asking businesses to help them collect whatever information they can about how they might have benefitted from the tournament.

“Did some of the anglers stay at your lodging place or motel? Did they come into your restaurant or store? Did you notice a bump in foot traffic or have an opportunity to interact with anyone involved in the event? What were their impressions of Massena? What was your impressions of them?” he said.

The information they receive will help them as they write grants to support next year’s planned tournaments.

“Anything that shows how businesses are benefitting from the events will go a long way in ensuring that Massena continues to be a destination for anglers for years to come,” Mr. Murphy said.

He said they’re also looking for input from businesses that may not have seen an impact and may be able to assist them for the remainder of this summer’s tournaments. The “Season of Excitement” includes the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour, which ran from June 25 to 30, the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit from July 29 to Aug. 2, the Toyota Series from Aug. 26 to 28, the BFL Phoenix Tournament from Sept. 10 to 12, the Cashion Rods Tournament on Sept. 18, and the town of Massena’s Big Bass Blowout (B3) the weekend of Oct. 2 and 3.

“We have developed some ways to connect businesses to the anglers and fishing fans through the Explore Massena and Fish Massena apps, but we would love to work with you to get the most bang we can out of these tournaments. After all, the main purpose of staging these events is to bring business to town,” he said. “We have an entire summer of fishing events here in Massena, so we have plenty of opportunities to publicize your businesses and hopefully add to your bottom line.”

Information can be emailed to jamesmurphy52@me.com or call him at 315-769-8484 and leave a message.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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