NASCAR weekend won't just impact Watkins Glen economically

CORNING, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - There's been a ton of buzz about the tourism that NASCAR brings to the Watkins Glen area, but what about the surrounding areas?

Corning is sometimes referred to as 'Historic Corning' or Market Street as 'Corning's Historic Market Street' and with a reference like that, there's a good possibility some race car fans will want to explore it. 

The Gaffer District is an easy drive from the international racetrack and the two organizations have a good relationship.

"They're wonderful about making sure their guests are aware of our downtown... over the years, people have been having a wonderful time discovering the Gaffer District as their visit to the raceway unfolds," Coleen Fabrizi, executive director of the Gaffer District, said.

"If you don't already have hotel reservations for this weekend, good luck," Laury Poland, president of the Finger Lakes Wine Country, said.

An employee at the Radisson on Denison Parkway told 18 News that many race crew members stay at the hotel.

Finger Lakes Wine Country, based in Corning, says there are over 100,000 attendees at Watkins Glen International during major race weekends.

"The economic impact is significant because not only is it the hotel nights, but it is all of the restaurants. It is the shops," Poland said.

And if you've ever visited the Gaffer District, you'd know there are plenty to offer in Corning. With dozens of food options and boutiques to chose from, visitors roam the streets filling their stomachs and emptying their wallets.

"We get a lot more business," Felicia Wilson, manager at Slammin' Jammin' BBQ, said. "A lot of tourists are out, a lot of people from different towns, and sometimes even countries."

The Finger Lakes Wine Country also conducted an extensive survey last year and found that 45 percent of respondents, who have visited the region, return more than five times. 

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