Posted: Jul 13, 2013 7:35 PM by Mackenzie Lee - MTN News
Updated: Jul 13, 2013 8:08 PM
MISSOULA - Many local business owners are feeling the impact of the Missoula Marathon, thanks to nearly 6,000 racers - many of whom are visiting from out of state.
Racer Lori Pitman of Issaquah, Washington is one of those taking part in Sunday's big event, and she told us she wanted to visit Missoula.
"Of course had to get a breakfast at the Cracker Barrel and now I'm gonna hang around and some friends told me to check out some stores here."
Local hotels, restaurants and tourist hot spots are feeling the economic upswing as a result of the marathon, and for many businesses it's a welcome side effect from the race.
Kim Klages Johns, who works in Missoula, said she sees a huge benefit. "It has an unbelievable economic impact. Hotels are full, restaurants are full. The town's just buzzin'."
Missoula isn't the only place in Montana that wins when it's race weekend as many of the racers will also travel to other popular Montana tourist destinations.
Seattle area native Ross Matheny visited Flathead Lake with his family before the race and plans to do more sight-seeing after.
"We've been spending some time on Flathead Lake and we're getting some family time and everything and then we're going to drive back through Canada and check out Glacier on the way."
Thanks to the hundreds of folks visiting the area, the race is not only good for the body - it's good for Missoula's wallet as well.
KPAX will be providing live coverage of the Missoula Marathon, both on-air and online, starting bright and early on Sunday.