Posted on October 24th, 2014 by Rebecca Thompson
The closing ceremony has been held and preliminary figures are in. PCTSM, along with Universal Shooting Academy and numerous other partners and volunteers, hosted the most successful IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) World Shoot in the organization’s history. More than 1,400 of the most elite handgun athletes in the sport came to Polk County October 3-19 to compete in their World Championship event.
An international competition so momentous that it only takes place every three years, this event is the equivalent of the Olympics for the IPSC organization. With the previous event having taken place in Greece in 2011 and the next one now set for France in 2017, Polk County dazzled the world with its hospitality, accommodations, attractions, amenities, beautiful weather and excellent overall organization of the actual event. Competitors, their guests and IPSC officials raved about the accommodations, and the service and hospitality of tourism industry workers assisting them during their time spent here. Many extended their visit to Florida by staying additional days in Polk and by visiting other areas of Florida, and even other parts of the United States. Thus, IPSC World Shoot XVII has been a tremendous success economically as well, to both Polk County and the United States. Since PCTSM’s successful bid on the event in 2011, more than 22 shooting events have been recruited to Polk County between 2012 and 2016, based on the prestige of Polk County securing the IPSC World Shoot XVII. Now that the event has concluded with rousing success, drawing additional events and competitions is a given. It is estimated that the economic impact of IPSC World Shoot XVII, including the pre and post events it has helped land, is more than $22 million. Venues all across Polk County were used during the World Shoot, from the Lakeland Center to Frostproof. The competitors and their guests stayed primarily in Polk County accommodations, ranging from hotels and motels around the county, vacation rental homes in Davenport and Haines City, and the Westgate River Ranch Resort. Restaurants and businesses also benefited from the influx of visitors. The opening ceremony, which included a Parade of Nations through downtown Lakeland followed by a spectacular show at the Lake Mirror Amphitheater, can be seen at www.VisitCentralFlorida.org/WorldShoot.