Businesses gear up for business boon from Summer race competitions


Bleachers’ Sports Bar and Grill may look sort of empty now, but with races kicking off at Watkins Glen International this weekend, every seat will be taken.

“It usually triples our average sales during the week. It starts Tuesday to the following Monday,” Bob Decker, co-owner of the Bleachers’, said. “Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the whole town is crazy. We’re wall-to-wall here, it’s just great.”

Bleachers’ is just one of the many business in Watkins Glen that will feel the boon from up the hill. Every year, they know just how to get ready.

“We keep pretty good numbers on what we do every year and it pretty much remains consistent,” Decker said. “So we know how much staff to have, how much to order, we do a lot of stuff outdoor just to accommodate the people.”

“We get over 800,000 visitors,” Mike Gardener, the public relations manager with WGI, said. “So the economic impact with that, just for the county alone, is astronomical.”

What Coning Incorporated is to Corning, Gardener said WGI is to Watkins Glen.
“We’re kind of like a museum in our self, a factory,” Gardener said. “Only instead of glass we pump out hundreds and hundreds of horsepower.”

If WGI wasn’t there, Decker said there would be an impact. He added however it would still be business as usual.
“It would hurt a little bit because you look forward to NASCAR Week, you look forward to Vintage Week, You look forward to the Wine Festival, you look forward to those really big weekends,” Decker said. “It would put a little dent in your profit, but we would still survive, but I’m glad it’s still there. “

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