Maui News

Maui Gets $12M Boost from 2012 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational

March 12, 2013, 7:20 AM HST
* Updated March 12, 10:32 AM
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2011 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Freethrow contest. File photo by Wendy Osher.

2011 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Freethrow contest. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The EA SPORTS Maui Invitational basketball tournament held over the Thanksgiving week on Maui had an estimated economic impact of $11.5 million in visitor spending to Maui County, according to claims by tourism officials. This represents a $3.4 million increase over the previous year.

Authorities from the Maui Visitors Bureau say the early season college tournament drew nearly 5,000 visitors, providing a tremendous economic benefit to many businesses on the island, including hotels and restaurants.

“We are extremely pleased with the increased economic impact that the Tournament produced this past year,” said Terryl Vencl, executive director of the Maui Visitors Bureau.  “Our residents and businesses take pride in extending the Aloha Spirit and welcoming thousands of visitors to the island each year to enjoy the Tournament and experience the wonderful scenery, people and culture,” she said.

Since its debut in 1984, tournament officials say the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational has boosted the local economy by more than $164 million.

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The Tournament also works with and utilizes the services of many Maui County businesses, spending an average of $1 million in annual direct spending.

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Local businesses the tournament works with include: ABM for janitorial services, Aloha T-Shirt Shop for championship t-shirt printing, Comfort Zone Catering for catering services, Jose Caubet of Ka’anapali Woodworks for trophy creation, Maui Rents for tenting supplies, Maui Lighthouse for electrical services, Service Rentals Lahaina for lighting and heavy equipment, Timpone Hawaii for custom surfboards and GP Roadway Solutions for barricades and fencing.

In addition to business support, the tournament also supports a number of community organizations through various programs such as the Charity Free Throw Contest at the Coaches Press Conference which, since 2001, has donated nearly $25,000 to local Maui schools.

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