Cabarrus Co. assess economic impact of Bank of America 500
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CONCORD -- Charlotte Motor Speedway says the Bank of America 500 was a success, despite the recession's impact on turnout. Area hotels were booked Friday and Saturday because of the race. But some vendors say sales were down for another year in a row.
Once the smoke settled, Concord started calculating the impact from this year's Bank of America 500.
"Anytime we can have thousands of people come here and have a good time it's been a great weekend for us," said the speedway's Scott Cooper.
Charlotte Motor Speedway said numbers could always improve, blaming the recession, but still considers the weekend a success.
Cooper said one thing different this year is that more fans bought tickets at the last minute.
"One thing that we saw this year compared to last year, we actually sold more tickets during race week then we did during race week last year,” added Cooper. “It's a symptom we've seen with the economy."
Embassy Suites, which was booked full Friday and Saturday, experienced the same thing.
"People are waiting until the last minute in some cases to make the decision to come to the race,” said Embassy Suites General Manager Terry Crawford. “Back four years ago there was more corporate involvement and those rooms would book months out."
While the speedway and hotels are happy with the weekend, one vendor said sales were down drastically.
"They were down pretty good,” said Sports Connections Plus sales associate, Jason Burnette. “It's been a continuous downward spiral ... We still make money, we just didn't have as big of numbers as last time."
The Speedway said corporate involvement improved for the last race, something they think is a positive sign for the future.
The Cabarrus County Convention and Visitor's Bureau said it will take about a week to calculate overall impact on the region.