Don Schumacher, former Director of the National Association of Sports Commissions, and current President of DSA Sports, LLC returned to Watauga County to present his findings and recommendations on the long-term viability and opportunities regarding sport tourism in the High Country.
In the summer of 2017, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce commissioned DSA Sports LLC to conduct a Sport Tourism Analysis for Watauga County. Schumacher spent three days in the area in late June, connecting with key stakeholders while touring existing sports facilities. His report reflects feedback from those meetings along with observations made during his site and infrastructure assessments. He then formulated his recommendations and analysis based on the sport tourism market in North Carolina as well as case studies from like communities across the country.
“Our ask of Don and DSA Sports was to examine our area and give us a recommendation on whether we could support a more community-wide approach to recruiting sports events for all ages and abilities to Watauga County,” said David Jackson, President/CEO of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce. “Don’s experience in the industry, coupled with his detailed SWOT analysis, has given us good information to consider. We will now combine that with the feedback we heard through the various forums. Then we can start to discuss what avenues may be available to create meaningful economic development opportunities in our community through sport tourism.”
The Chamber worked with representatives from the Watauga County Parks & Recreation Department, Town of Boone, Watauga County EDC, Appalachian State Athletics, and the Boone/Watauga County TDA to provide information and assist with facility tours during Shumacher’s summer trip. Over the last two days, Schumacher presented a summary of his report in separate forums consisting of sport event organizers and the tourism industry. He also made a presentation to elected officials and the general public in the Commissioners’ Board Room at the Watauga County Administration Building February 1st.
“This is not an effort to get into the business of bothering people that are producing these wonderful events that are already happening,” said Shumacher during the public forum. “This is an effort to bring additional things to bear that would not otherwise happen. Because nobody has the time to sort through what the opportunities might be, find the events, evaluate whether it will fly or not, and then proceed to get it or not get it.”
Schumacher, CSEE, has a lifetime of experience in the field of communications, family entertainment, theme park marketing and operations, arena and stadium marketing and operations, event management, sports marketing and facilities consultation. For almost forty years he has focused his activities on sport tourism, and has consulted with more than 175 cities on strategies to increase market share.
From 1994 until 2017 Schumacher was the executive director of the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC), an organization he helped found in 1992 and which now has more than 850 members. He has earned the distinction of Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) from the NASC.
If you have questions, please contact the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce at 828-264-2225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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