Wednesday, August 13, 2008

City Benefits from MC Historic Half Marathon

At the beginning of the City Council meeting last night there was some interesting data about the impacts from the spring Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon. It was overshadowed by topics later in the agenda.

Somewhere between 13k and almost 18k people visited the region. Of those, an estimated 45% had never been to the city of Fredericksburg. It's estimated that during the weekend, they spent $2 to almost $2.8M. Next year it's expected that the marathon organizers are going to increase the number of participants to 9000 runners, for even greater economic benefit.

The city and organizers have been working on feedback to ensure that concerns from this years race are addressed in setup and execution of the 2009 race. From the historic half website - "The 2009 course is being designed and will be posted this fall!"

Note to runners, I've read several reports of people expecting to be able to drive to the 'burg from DC the morning of the race. As a regular commuter to DC, unless it's 4am, don't expect consistent travel times on I-95. Within the past few years a number of national hotel chains have added properties in the Fredericksburg area. If that isn't your cup of tea, there are several smaller, very interesting places to stay around town. And even though most GPSs will take you down I-95, you might want to try 301 if coming from DC or eastern MD. It's much longer, but a scenic drive vs watching someone's brake lights on a Friday afternoon.


Larry Gross said...

One of the perhaps less-recognized benefits of Kalahari - is the ability of the city to promote future events to folks who may well be enticed to return .....

In fact, the entire Fredericksburg Area - could view visitors to Kalahari as potential tourists for other area events - not on the day they visit - but a future visit.

also - the existing undocumented trail system along the Rappahannock - if it had trailhead signs - and a safe way to cross River Road at FOR, could entice folks to bike from a Kalahari visit to downtown Fred... but Fred would have to get more serious about making itself more ped/bike friendly.

Bryan said...

One of the things I want to see as part of city council is options for fall hill Ave to do just what you said, encourage bike and pedestrian use. This park like road should be enticing to visitors to the hotels to draw them downtown. And I agree on making the most of return visitors. There was talk the other night about the filling of hotel rooms next year as wegmans opens (temporary execs), construction of Kalahari, the next half marathon, and hopefully an active slate of conventions.

We are sitting on a gem of a city here, soon to have a diverse set of attractions that should appeal to a number of families. That should be good for business, which in return lowers the tax burden on residents. Now we just need to update some transportation to handle all this.

Larry Gross said...

good ideas!

transportation is a tough nut both ped/bike and vehicle.

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