Sarasota Attracts World-Class Athletes, Artists and Businesspeople
We all know Sarasota has been a top retirement destination for decades. Active retirees love the beaches, the arts and the mild climate. (And who can blame them?)
But it’s not just retirees who move here. Sarasota is home to several big draws that attract world-class athletes, businesspeople, students and their families.
IMG Academy attracts athletes from around the world. During the 2015 to 2016 school year, the student body of the academy’s boarding school represented more than 70 countries. Families are always moving to the area so their children can take advantage of IMG’s many training programs.
IMG is also known for hosting and training a variety of professional athletes, from tennis pros Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova to NFL quarterbacks Cam Newton and Russell Wilson.
Athletes also descend on the area to row at Nathan Benderson Park, including rowers from several collegiate teams around the country. All eyes will be on Sarasota in the coming years as Benderson Park hosts the 2017 World Rowing Championships and the 2018 National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Rowing Championship.
And then there are those who come to don a chef’s hat. They travel to Sarasota for Keiser University’s Center for Culinary Arts, recently ranked 18th on a list of the 50 best culinary schools in the United States by Best Choice Schools. It can be hard to leave once you’ve graduated, too, because Sarasota offers so many award-winning, Zagat-rated fine dining options.
Another international draw is Ringling College of Art + Design, where young artists learn computer animation, graphic design, illustration and much more. Ringling students are so highly sought after that each year companies like Disney, Pixar, Hallmark and Apple come to recruit them. The list of accolades Ringling students have won goes on and on, and they recently picked up their 12th Student Academy Award.
Sarasota is home to a host of world-class companies, like drinkware maker Tervis. You likely own one of their plastic tumblers, or like me, have an entire cabinet full of these portable essentials. Tervis, headquartered in Venice, has a big impact on the region, employing more than 900 people.
For many, all it takes is a weekend in Sarasota to realize this is the place to be. They may come to train or row, learn or work, but soon people find Sarasota is the place they’d like to call home.