NASCAR Race Brings Economic Boost

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Millions of dollars will be driven into Mid-Michigan this weekend, all thanks to what's going on in a tiny town just south of Jackson.

It's the first NASCAR race of the season at MIS in Brooklyn, and with an influx of thousands of people that means a lot green for local businesses, before the green flag is dropped.

Cars are lining up in Brooklyn and not just on the MIS. But it's all the traffic heading into and around the town that's getting businesses excited.

"So many hundreds of thousands of people come to this area just for the race," said Patrick Tumey, manager of the Beach Bar.

"It's really good for the town, it's really good for sales," said Todd Gilbert, store director of Country Market.

When they're not at the track, everyone from fans to crews can be found at local restaurants and stores. It shows, from a full parking lot to stuffed shopping carts, Country Market says they'll see double the business they get in an average week just over the weekend.

"We'll probably have about 25,000 [customers] come through the doors this week," said Gilbert, who adds more staff to each shift over the weekend.

Those sales are giving the economy a boost.
A University of Michigan study found that the MIS generates $414 million dollars each year. About half of that goes directly into the state's economy.

"A lot of people structure their budgets and businesses on it," said Cindy Hubbell, executive director of the Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce.

One thing that helps is having a steady stream of repeat customers

"The truck drivers, the race teams, the crew, that's who we're seeing in our businesses," Hubbell added.

"We tend to see the same ones come in each year and each race," Tumey said.

No matter where they choose to spend their green, the people in Brooklyn are excited the crowds are here.

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