Racing puts economy on fast track - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Racing puts economy on fast track

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July 27, 2005

Cook County - The stands at South Georgia Motor Sports Park were empty Wednesday, but on any given weekend, they're packed with hundreds of eager racing fans. "They come from all over, we've got people who flew in from as far away as California," said Shad Dean, Park Manager.

Since the park opened last spring, Cook County's economy has skyrocketed. Economic Developer Kerry Waldron estimates its impact on this area will be about 37 million dollars each year. "Folks come into town, they shop, they spend the night, they buy food and gas and eat in our restaurants," said Waldron. "The racers don't just bring their cars, they bring their families, team crews, pit members and we're averaging 400 to 500 people for racing events," said Waldron.

On big race nights, its hard to find a motel room or an empty seat at a restaurant, and local convenience stores are packed with visitors gassing up. "We have one convenience store close to the race track that says when its race weekend, they do $10,000 more on that weekend than they normally do," said Waldron.

It's not just Cook County feeling the economic impact of this park. The money is trickling in all over South Georgia. "When they come, they'll come on a Thursday and leave on Sunday and they bring their families so you've got places like Wild Adventures, Reed Bingham benefiting, all of our shopping venues," said Waldron.

Its racing entertainment that's keeping our economy on the fast track.

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