Organizers deem Soaked Orlando a success

Professional water skiing event exceeds expectations

By Julie Broughton - Anchor

ORLANDO, Fla. - The swans are back home on Lake Eola after being temporarily relocated for the City Beautiful's first professional water skiing event. Event organizers declare Soaked Orlando a "huge success."

According to Steve Garcia, who spearheaded the event, more than 10,000 spectators packed the festival Saturday. He says preliminary numbers show the event brought in about $400,000.  His goal, he says, was to break even on the $276,000 budget.

Garcia says he fired Soaked's original event planner just six weeks ago and took over planning himself. He tells Local 6 the city officials and professional water skiers pulled together to make Soaked happen.

"They unloaded the ramp which is 2000 pounds into the water themselves. They were out there swimming, putting buoys in," said Garcia. "The were actually selling tickets and soda and bottles of water. Very likely if you bought a ticket, one of the top skiers in the world was selling you the ticket."

Jon Travers placed sixth in the men's finals Saturday.  His family owns a ski school in Groveland and says doing well in front of the hometown crowd was special.

"To be out there and ski with lots of music, lights and stuff, like that and have a big crowd meant tons to all of us," Travers said.

Garcia tells us he is already interviewing event planning companies for next year's Soaked, and hopes to expand it to a multi-city tour.

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