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mc grand prix breaks record

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 16:38 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

This year's powerboat racing at Michigan City's lakefront set a record for money it brought to the local economy.

There was also record attendance estimated at more than 150,000 for all of the race related events.

''The impact of this race on our community is off the charts,'' said Jack Arnett, executive director of the LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Certec, Inc., a Lexington, Kentucky based marketing analysis group, placed the economic impact from the Great Lakes Grand Prix in early August at $10.7 million.

That's $1.1 million higher than the previous year and double the money the inaugural race brought here nine-years ago.

Arnett said growing race related events like the Taste of Michigan City and downtown block party and adding new ones like a volleyball tournament and car show have a lot to do with the figures still climbing.

Increased exposure from Midwest Living magazine and the Indiana Tourism Association recognizing the race as the best event in Indiana for 2016 also helps.

''That itself brings people in from all over the country,'' said Arnett.

The study also found 75-percent of the money spent by visitors went toward food, beverages, shopping and transportation.

$2.4 million in wages from jobs created from hosting the event were also generated.

Planning is already underway for next summer's 10th Great Lakes Grand Prix, which features racers in the Superboat International series which had four other powerboat races this year in Ohio and Florida.

Often referred to as the NASCAR of powerboat racing, Superboat International boats often exceed depending on weather conditions 150 miles per hour.

Arnett would not indicate what is going to be done to recognize the milestone.

''We expect next year's race to be even bigger and better. Stay tuned,'' he said.