Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Canceling triathlon mistake for chamber - Palm Beach Post 9/10/14

I was distressed to read Sunday about the cancellation of the Tropical Triathlon (“Chamber cancels triathlon, cites costs”).

The Tropical Triathlon was a boom to the local Lake Worth economy for nearly 18 years, attracting world-class athletes from all over the world. Local hotels and bed and breakfast were filled during the race weekend, restaurants were bustling each day and shops were filled with shoppers. Dr Alex Keith shared his vision with the city to help with its image at a time when Lake Worth had very few events. He worked hard in building a world-class event.

The Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce cites the reason it canceled the event was that businesses did not want to sponsor this event. Rather, they want assistance from the chamber. What assistance has the chamber given since it merged with the Greater Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce? Businesses sponsored this event for 18 years, making it profitable for the chamber.

The real underling issue the triathlon was canceled is the Central palm Beach chamber doesn’t support Lake Worth businesses.

When the merger accrued nearly four years ago, officials promised to keep a presence in downtown Lake Worth, continue hosting the city’s signature events, and support local businesses with networking opportunities. Events are being canceled, and networking events are held out west.

Maybe it’s time either for new leadership at the helm of the chamber or the birth of a new Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce. I prefer the latter.