Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Surf Economics of Brevard County, Florida

Brevard County, Florida is arguably the epicenter of surfing in Florida. This region boats numerous surf spots from CoCoa Beach to Sebastian Inlet and spawned the Hobgoods and Slater.

Last week, Mike Slotkin of Florida Institute of Technology presented some stats on surfers who visit Brevard County from an internet-based survey of 240 surfers who lived outside Brevard County but visit to surf.

As you can see, surfers from throughout the state come to Brevard County to surf.

These surfers represent a full range of ages - over 40% of them are over 36 years old.

They are also well educated and earn high wages. For comparison, the median household income in Florida is a little over $46,000 and about 25% of Floridians have a college degree. These surfers are wealthy and well educated.

When they visit the county to surf they spend money in local businesses.

When you begin to add up those expenditures over a year they start to add up. As is common, the hardest number to find is the annual number of surfer visits. Here they estimated 9500 a year.

This profile of Florida surfers who visit Brevard County is similar to the demongraphics of surfers who visit Trestles. Mike shows this comparison in his presentation. You can see all the slides here (5 MB .pdf)

Thanks to Dr. Mike Slotkin and Dr. Alex Vamosi for sharing their presentation and kudos to Brian Kelly for conducting the survey.