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“They don’t just sponsor our event, they are our partners,” said Lyndsay Edelstein, vice president of Festivals of Speed, which hosts similar events in Miami, Saint Petersburg, and Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida. The event attracted more than 78 sponsors this year, up from 60 in 2010, including title sponsor Lexus of Orlando, as well as Lotus Orlando, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Orlando, Fields Auto Group, Bentley Orlando, and many other luxury automobile dealers. Sponsors helped market the event by sending invitations to their customer databases and posting information around their dealerships.
The main event for the weekend was supposed to be a display of more than 200 vehicles on the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes on Sunday. Steady rain throughout the weekend forced organizers to postpone that part of the festival. They expect to announce a new date soon.
The $100-per-person jetport reception showcased more than 40 high-end cars, boats, planes, and motorcycles inside and outside the 10,000-square-foot hangar. Several luxury product vendors also participated in the event, including Tiffany & Company, Cohiba cigars, and Peroni. Guests dined on food from Dragonfly restaurant and Hard Rock Cafe. Aura Restaurant and Bar, scheduled to open in January, provided the bar.
Some of the proceeds from the weekend's events will go to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Organizers said they are hoping to add Festivals of Speed shows in California and New York in 2012.