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New businesses looking forward to economic boost for Grandma’s Marathon

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:20 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN -- This year, 20,000 runners will flock to Downtown Duluth for the 46th annual Grandma’s Marathon.

Plenty of festivities will take place throughout the weekend, but for local businesses, the event is much more than a good time.

“What that means is $21 million of economic impact happening in our community on just a weekend. And that means everything to this business community,” said Matt Baumgartner, President of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce.

This year, the race sold out for the first time since 2016.

According to Baumgartner, some businesses can see up to 3 times the income they bring in on a normal weekend.

For many businesses, the weekend marks the first weekend of “tourism season.”

“It’s the first day that they’ll cashflow since last summer and so it’s just really an exciting time that everybody ramps up for,” said Baumgartner.

For businesses that opened only recently, this year will be their first experience with the Marathon.

Chachos Taqueria, located right by the finish line, opened just a few months ago, but co-owner Aaron Maloney said he’s ready for the big crowds.

“People come through the finish lines right here, and hopefully with our new storefront and menu board up and some new menu items we draw in a lot of people,” he said, “We’ve already started to meet people from different parts of the country, and just see this area live again.”

For new businesses like Chachos, Baumgartner said this is an important weekend.

“An event like grandma’s marathon, where you have 50,000 people, most of which are from outside of the area, that becomes a force multiplier to being able to expose people to your new business, your new good or your new service,” he said.

The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce recommends visiting a newly opened business if you find yourself downtown during Grandma’s Marathon.

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