GRADY COUNTY, GA (WALB) - Some of the best young, up and coming motocross riders in the world come to south Georgia to train.
And a new study shows the economic impact they have on Grady County.
Motocross riders from across the globe start every day like this.
Training and racing at Millsaps Training Facility in Grady County.
And while the noise bothers some neighbors, they may change their opposition to the industry now that research shows how much revenue motocross brings into the county.
Grady County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chadd Mathis said, “We knew that they were impacting the local businesses. We knew that there was an economic impact here. We just didn't know to what extent.”
So Mathis applied for and received a grant from the Economic Development Research Program to gather more information about visitors' expenses as well as other business activity relating to motocross.
Millsaps Training Facility Program Coordinator Paul Bevan-Thomas said, “We always thought it was a lot. We didn't really realize it is as much as it is. $3.9 million a year.”
The study showed that the motocross industry brings in more than 50 jobs into the county and over $260,000 in state and local tax revenue.
And the economic impact isn't the only thing these riders want to contribute to Grady County.
Riders from Millsaps have decided to step away from their bikes and volunteer for projects around the community.
Bevan-Thomas said, “Certainly, we train them to ride the dirt bike, but we want them to be well-rounded people who understand the community that they live in. And just be part of giving back.”
And now Southwest Georgia Tech is collaborating with Cairo High School to create a new program that teaches students more about the technology behind the bikes.