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The Gulf Coast Swim Team will host USA Swimming’s 2016 Southern Zone Open Water Championships June 3-5 at Lynn Hall Park on Fort Myers Beach. The Southern Zone consists of more than a dozen individual local swim committees (LSC) located within the southern quadrant of the U.S. The 2016 Southern Zone Open Water Championships will bring top open water swimmers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia to compete in Lee County.

Lee County Sports Development anticipates that the 2016 Southern Zone Open Water Championships will generate an estimated $250,000 in direct economic impact, $7,000 in bed taxes and approximately 1,000 hotel room nights.

“Lee County is honored to host the 2016 Southern Zone Open Water Championships at Lynn Hall Park on Fort Myers Beach,” said Jeff Mielke, executive director of Lee County Sports Development. “With top open water swimmers from 11 states within the southern U.S. coming to Lee County, it will be an exciting competition for the community to enjoy. It will also bring a positive economic impact to Lee County, as many of the athletes and their supporters traveling for the competition will stay in hotels, eat at restaurants and enjoy many other attractions while they are here.”

Women’s relays will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by the men’s relays at 6:15 p.m. On Saturday, a 2.5K race for the men’s and women’s 11-12 age group will take place at 9 a.m. and 9:10 a.m., respectively, followed by a 5K race for the men’s and women’s 13-14, 15-16 and Senior age groups at 10:30 a.m. and 10:40 a.m., respectively. On Sunday, team pursuits will take place at 9 a.m., and the championship event will conclude with an awards ceremony. For more information on the 2016 Southern Zone Open Water Championships or the Gulf Coast Swim Team, visit www.GCST.org.

About Lee County Sports Development

Lee County Sports Development was created in 2003 to meet the growing demand for sports development in Lee County, and is recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation as one of the state’s 25 Regional Sports Commissions. The Lee County Sports Development office leads the recruitment and implementation of amateur and professional sports events and activities in Lee County, with the goal of providing economic impact to Lee County. Through local partnerships with Lee County Parks & Recreation and others, the Lee County Sports Development office provides services designed to address the needs of local, national and international sports entities including housing, access to venues, event management, transportation assistance, event promotion, marketing and local sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 239-533-5273 or visit www.leegov.com/sports.