MICHIGAN CITY | The recent Great Lakes Grand Prix in Michigan City pumped $7.2 million into the local economy, according to the LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The bureau hired a private firm out of Kentucky to figure out how much money was spent by race spectators in places like local hotels, restaurants and gas station along with attendance.
The powerboat race, during its five years in Michigan City, has generated nearly $30 million for the local economy from direct visitor spending, said Jason Miller, sports development manager for the LCC&VB.
"The levels by which this event continues to grow each year is great to see," said Miller.
A near-record crowd of 80,000 to 90,000 people also watched the Aug. 4 race at Washington Park, officials said.
Officials said another estimated 20,000 people watched the test runs of the boats on Saturday and attended the downtown boat parade and Taste of Michigan City on Friday.
"This has become something the community hangs its collective hat on, and that's one of the things we hoped to accomplish when we started this five years ago," Miller said.