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Motocross of Nations could bring a boost to regional economy

NOW: Motocross of Nations could bring a boost to regional economy

BUCHANAN, Mich., -- Tens of thousands of people from all over the world are coming to Michiana.

This weekend, RedBud in Buchanan is hosting "Motocross of Nations." Organizers say it's the Superbowl for motocross racing, with competitors and fans from 40 countries. 

ABC57 wanted to know about the economic impact of an event this size. The Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce said "Motocross of Nations" is great exposure for the town. However, they said it's difficult to predict how the race will affect stores in Buchanan. 

"Motocross of nations" is expected to bring 60,000 to 70,000 people. It's the first time in the race's 71 year history that it's being hosted in the Midwest.

The chamber of commerce says places like gas stations, grocery stores, and hotels will see bumps in business. However, antique shops and boutiques probably won't benefit.The chamber says that's because the people coming to town, are here for a specific event. They might not have time or desire to stroll through downtown shops.

"From past experiences, with the Fourth of July event, we know it brings an economic impact to this town, but we don't know at this point, since it's not been here exactly to what extent," said Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Carol Caroll. 

Caroll added that some of the impact will spill over to other parts of Michiana. Visit South Bend Mishawaka said earlier this week around 2,000 hotel rooms in St. Joseph County will be filled this weekend from the event. VSBM is also excited for guests to visit local attractions and restaurants. 

The chamber of commerce said hotels in the region booked up months ago. RedBud even purchased an additional 30 acres for camping, but that sold out too. So now, people who live in the area are capitalizing by renting their homes. 

Bea Warren, who lives on Front St., rented her house through AirBnB. A couple of months ago, someone from Oklahoma booked her home. She said a number of her neighbors are doing the same. Warren added it's a great way for people who live nearby to directly benefit from the event. 

"This race is so huge, even though it's the very first one, so we don't really know the dynamic it's going to have on the community, but I'm four miles from the track, so I knew I was going to rent the house," said Warren. 

Some people ABC57 spoke to said this highlights a need for a hotel in Buchanan. The chamber of commerce said this event as well as other development have started a conversation about it. However, the chamber said the city needs to address other needs first. 

To learn more about Motocross of Nations click here


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