US Open T20 boosts Fort Lauderdale economy

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VINODE MAMCHAN
Santa Claus came disguised as the US Open T20 cricket tournament for businesses in Fort Lauderdale as they received a welcome boost just ahead of Christmas with the staging of the tournament in Sunrise at the Central Broward Regional Cricket Stadium.
Cricket Council USA (CCUSA) led by Mahammad Qureshi staged their 11th edition of the tournament and speaking to business people in the area they were really grateful for the business drummed up during the period.
Sheila Swah Gowkeran owner of the popular Joy’s Roti Delight said that it was a very good period for her business. “We benefitted a lot from the staging of the tournament. We got a lot of orders from the organizer Mr. Sofian and at one time we had to come in early to get his orders in place so that we could have focussed on the daily business.
“Added to this there were a lot of Trinidadians who came up for the tournament and they wanted ‘home’ food so they came all the time during the five days of the tournament. This is really wonderful for us and we want to thank Mr. Sofian and Mr. Qureshi for the work they are doing in not only promoting cricket but also helping local businesses.”
In addition to the food sector benefitting another major boost came for hoteliers as hundreds of rooms were booked out for around a two-week period as cricketers and supporters converged for the tournament. One example was La Quinta on Commercial, they were booked solid by Trinidadians. During the week of the tournament, December 18 to 23, ninety percent of their rooms were taken up by guests that came from Trinidad.
Opposite the hotel, the Laundromat also saw an increase in business as this was where the players and supporters attended to their clothing. Another hotel that benefitted big time was the DoubleTree by Hilton in Plantation. CCUSA held a banquet dinner at the venue just before the tournament and many people flew in for the event and stayed there. Many of the cricketers also stayed there for the tournament. The Plaza Hotel mere minutes from the ground was another venue of choice as mostly cricket people stayed at this hotel. All in all a total of around 550 rooms were booked in Fort Lauderdale by people associated with the US Open T20.
Not only did the hospitality component got busy but also taxis and malls as many people decided to do their Christmas shopping during the tournament given that Christmas was just two days away from the end of the tournament.
The airlines also got great business with hundreds flying into the city for the tournament. The choice of airlines that got the business were American Airlines, Caribbean Airlines, Jetblue and United in the main.
Fort Lauderdale was not the only benefactor of the staging of this great tournament but also nearby Orlando as many families made their way across there for the Christmas vacation.
Checks with the financial gurus have revealed that on average the Florida economy would have gotten an economic impact the region of US$4 million during the 2019 US Open T20

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