The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Orange, Texas has been selected as the host site for the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament No.1, scheduled for March 14-17, 2013. The Bassmaster Elite Series Sabine River Challenge will air multiple times on ESPN and the Outdoor Channel, stream live on the BASSMASTER website and be featured on billboards and in Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times Magazines.

The Chamber Event Chairmen, David Jones and John Gothia, began the process of enticing the B.A.S.S. organization to the Orange area many months ago.  Several meetings and on-site visits by B.A.S.S. took place.  Also key to landing this nationally recognized event, was a financial commitment from Orange County Commissioner’s Court, the Orange County Hotel Occupancy Tax Committee and Orange County Economic Development Corporation, as well as a title sponsorship secured by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation.

“The Stark Foundation is pleased to be a title sponsor for this event,” said Walter Riedel, President and CEO of the Stark Foundation. “We consider it a great opportunity to not only highlight the area’s natural resources but also bring additional attention to the Stark Foundation’s educational and cultural venues.”

The Bassmaster Elite Series Tournaments have drawn as many as 10,000 spectators in the past. The Sabine River Challenge will kick off the 2013 Elite Series in March and is expected to have a significant impact on the Orange area economy during the tournament and a positive residual impact for years to come.

Executive Director of the Orange County EDC, Bobby Fillyaw said, “B.A.S.S. is the premier bass fishing organization in the world and we look forward to showcasing Orange County as a premier location for quality cultural and recreational opportunities.  Thanks to the team effort of our local leadership and community organizations, this will be a great event that will have a tremendous impact on our local economy.”

There is a great deal of work still to be done, to roll out the welcome mat for several thousand visitors.  The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce looks forward to working with our area government officials, The Stark Foundation, Orange County EDC, Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau, area hotels, restaurants, and businesses, and community volunteers to make sure this is a successful event and  worthwhile endeavor for everyone involved.

“Welcoming the Bassmaster Elite Series’ top 100 anglers to our area, along with their sponsors, family, friends, media, and several thousand B.A.S.S. members and fishing enthusiasts from around the country, is the top priority for the Chamber and our partners,” said Ida Schossow, Greater Orange Area Chamber President.  “We plan to use this as an opportunity to introduce the country to the great fishing, the friendly people, and the many hidden treasures of Orange County.   It is sure to be an exciting week full of fishing, fun, and festivities intended not only for the enjoyment of out-of-town guests, but also for area residents.”

For more information call the chamber at 409-883-3536.