Business owner near MIS: "I wish they had a race every week" - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Business owner near MIS: "I wish they had a race every week"

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Tens of thousands of NASCAR fans from around the world are taking over the small Southeast Michigan town of Brooklyn for the big race weekend.

Every year Michigan International Speedway in the Irish Hills drives the local economy.

13abc's Christine Long has more on the enormous financial impact of the race.

People who own hotels, campgrounds, golf courses, and restaurants in towns around the track, like Tecumseh, are happy this week.

According to a new study, MIS has an economic footprint of $414 million every year.

As the caravan of campers converge on MIS in Brooklyn, businesses in and around the town of about 1,200 people are making big money.

"If there wasn't race weekends around here in the Irish Hills, I don't think the Irish Hills would be around as strong as it is," says George Handy, the owner of Old Highway Market located a mile west of the track.

Handy says most of the locals stay away as tens of thousands of race fans drop cash for Brooklyn's version of Black Friday.

"We usually have three cash registers running all day and they don't stop all day from 6:30 until 10:30, 11 at night," says Handy.

At Hills' Heart O' the Lakes Golf Course in Brooklyn, a group of men from the South Side of Chicago are enjoying their annual boys camping trip where they meet friends who live in Duluth, Minnesota.

"We meet up with them every year for the last 12 to 15 years, go racing, go golfing, and we consume just a couple beers," says Chris Jurkanis of Duluth.

"I wish they had a race every week," says Kristen Hill who owns the golf course.

Hill says the MIS race weeks are her two busiest weeks every year.

"I love race fans, they're fun, they have a good time, they're here for fun and they love to spend and they're just good people," says Hill.

15 miles east of Brooklyn in Tecumseh, the Daily Grind Sandwich Shoppe & Coffeehouse rents the upstairs bed and breakfast to NASCAR fans.

In the store, they mostly see an influx of wives, but during race week there's always a surprise.

"Yesterday we saw a motorcycle group and they were from Holland. Not Holland, Michigan. The country of Holland," says Theresa Stucky, the manager of The Daily Grind.

According to the University of Michigan study that shows MIS generates more than $414 million in total economic activity a year, more than half of the people who go to NASCAR events come from outside the state of Michigan.

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