Bristol's races mean an upsurge in business at Ridgewood Barbecue. Dave Boyd photo.
As the high-banked oval of Bristol Motor Speedway churns to life, hundreds of thousands of fans, drivers and support staff will flock to the Tri-Cities this week, bringing millions of dollars rolling into the local economy from race-related tourism.
Johnson City Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Gary Mabrey said the biannual race weekend is a boon for the region's hospitality industry.
"We've come up with a quick number in-house, and we've found that one race has a $3 million to $4 million impact on Johnson City's economy alone," Mabrey said Tuesday. "With more than 130,000 people coming into the community, they're spending money on hotel rooms, gas, food, souvenirs and a number of other things. This weekend, when you factor in the multiplier effect, will have a multimillion-dollar impact. Race weeks are awesome, and they are great economic drivers for us."
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