In its 19th year in the Keweenaw, Lake Superior Performance Rally has come through for the community again with big numbers: 56 race teams, 112 competitors, hundreds of service crew workers, and thousands of spectators.
The race start and driver meet and greet, called the Parc Expose, were held on the front lawn of the Country Inn and Suites, where a crowd gathered to check out the cars before they were covered in mud.
??It kind of gave the spectators an opportunity to stay close to the starting point and not have to commute to get to this part to see all the cars in the morning and watch them get ready and everything like that,?? said Country Inn and Suites general manager, Carissa Ebnet.
More spectators are filling rooms at the inn than racers; a change from previous years. But the visitors have completely booked the hotel for the whole week.
??As soon as Pro Rally sets their dates for the Lake Superior Pro Rally, we start to fill, and we fill pretty much about a month or two ahead of time,?? Ebnet said. ??And then you have the last minute travelers that are trying to get in; they??re hoping and calling, and hopefully they find room up here in the Keweenaw.??
The hotel??s neighbor, the Rock House and Mine Shaft traffic into the restaurant has increased by about 10 to 15 percent.
??It makes people want to come back, and I think with the hotel right next door, we have a nice partnership with them, it??s nice,?? said Rock House general manager, Kevin Porter. ??People don??t have to drive very far. They can come in, and they can have a good dinner and they can have a few drinks and they don??t have to worry about driving back anywhere.??
Having so many people from across the world come up for the races, it leaves a good feeling for the prospect of future tourism.
??It??s a big event, especially for the area in October,?? Ebnet said. ??There??s really not a whole lot of business before the snowmobilers get here, and all the summer travelers have kind of gone because there??s not a whole lot to see. So, we??re really lucky to have this up in our area.??
For more information about Lake Superior Performance Rally, visit their website here .