PALMETTO, Fla. -- For last Saturday's inaugural Bradenton Area Riverwalk Regatta, the crowd was said to be about a hundred thousand people and the economic impact was thought to be $8 million for the region. But Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant says she is very disappointed.
Palmetto shares the river with Bradenton, but Mayor Bryant says, you'd never know it from the regatta.
"People that tried to watch from the Palmetto side were really left out of it. It was really structured and geared toward only the riverwalk," Mayor Bryant said.
One of the spectators from Palmetto, Stephanie Battle, said "there were only a few booths, and it would have been nicer to have more involvement on this side."
Bradenton's Executive Director of Downtown Development said "it's no benefit to just have the Bradenton side benefit." David Gustafson says he wants the regatta to go on for years to come, and he wants to make sure Palmetto is happy as well.
"There is going to be a relationship here that benefits both sides of the river, bottom line," Gustafson declared.
Mayor Bryant hopes he's right. But she's not sure if her city made or lost money.
"It will be interesting to actually put a real pencil to it and see what the bottom line is. So we'll wait and see. I always say 'the jury is out,'" Mayor Bryant said.
She wants Palmetto residents to give her feedback, and to also attend a public workshop on the issue March 2nd at 4:30pm at City Hall.