Watkins Glen Brings NASCAR to Southern Tier's Backyard

Published 08/01 2014 04:17PM

Updated 08/01 2014 06:28PM

Watkins Glen International is one of North America's premier racing facilities. It has a long and rich history as New York's only home to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Next weekend fans get the biggest and best the track has to offer. Fans enjoy first class racing capped off by the Cheez-It 355.

WGI President Michael Printup said it's a real treat for racing fans to experience such a high quality event right in their backyard.

"We have three great series coming in here; the K&N series, the Nationwide Series and the Spring Cup Series culminating on Sunday. When you can put together a package like that and provide the type of atmosphere it's fun, it's humbling. It's the camaraderie, the sport, it's all the national and international media that we get, and the corporate sponsors that really make this event what it is," he said.

The race is the biggest sporting event in New York State and brings over $200 million of revenue to the state each year. Printup said the area of Watkins Glen booms when the event comes to town.

"The hotels are full, the gas stations pump a lot of gas, grocery stores sell a lot of food and beverage, milk and bread and everything else that they sell. All the hotels are full from here to Cortland to Ithaca, Bath, I think you can still get a couple rooms in Geneva. That's what it does," he said.

This year, Governor Cuomo has also got on board, creating a partnership with WGI and the "I Love NY" program. Printup said the partnership is beneficial to both sides, and that he's grateful for Governor Cuomo's support.

"That's where the partnership takes us. It takes us to that next level of let's fill up more hotels, let's build more business here, let's have bigger restaurants, better restaurants and let's make this tourism not just the best, let's make it the biggest in the world," he said.

While the racing is the main attraction there are lots of other activities from camping to concerts to vendor row and a carnival for kids that makes Watkins Glen enticing to people of all ages.

"It's like a big party, carnival, family fun activity that all ages can enjoy, from two to ninety," Printup said.

For a complete schedule of events, camping and ticket information go to www.theglen.com.

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