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Zeigler Kalamazoo Marathon expected to bring big boost to local economy

Original story from News Channel 3.

The Zeigler Kalamazoo Marathon is this weekend and News Channel 3 is a proud sponsor of the event.

Marathon organizers are expecting up to 2,700 people to participate in the races, some traveling from more than 50 miles away.

It's why dozens of downtown businesses are gearing up for a big boost to the local economy.

This weekend, it's all hands on deck at Old Burdick's Bar and Grill in downtown Kalamazoo.

General Manager Nick Gromek said on race day of the Zeigler Kalamazoo Marathon revenue is up 50% higher than a typical Sunday.

These are the events that make us and other restaurants and businesses in downtown successful for the month, with big events like this," General Manager Nick Gromek said.

For weeks, nearly 300 people have been training for the races in Run Camps, and they're ready to rock.

The full marathon is also back this year, which Dana Wagner with Discover Kalamazoo said should increase foot traffic even more.

"They’re spending not only at our hotels, but also at those businesses, those restaurants, those shops, and that helps to support those businesses that all of our residents here enjoy as well," the Director of Marketing and Communications for Discover Kalamazoo Dana Wagner said.

Discover Kalamazoo found the Sunday foot traffic for the Zeigler Kalamazoo Marathon in 2022 was the highest amount for a Sunday in April since 2018.

Wagner said visitor spending, not including residents, generated nearly half a million dollars and the race routes showcase many amenities Kalamazoo County has to offer.

"We have beautiful nature and trails just minutes from a vibrant and thriving downtown with all of our shops and restaurants. live music, theater, and entertainment, so to have that duality, that combination of things in Kalamazoo, the routes allow people to see all of that, Wagner said.

Wagner tells us visitor spending overall is critical to the economy of Kalamazoo County, and people attending the races were also 20% more likely to spend money at other businesses, like beer at Old Burdick's.

The Zeigler Kalamazoo Marathon is this Sunday, April 23.

Runners can participate in the full and half marathon, 10K, 5K run and the Priority Health 5K walk.

For more information to register, click here.

Race Director, Carrie Drake, joined Ken Lanphear to give details on early registration for the 2024 Zeigler Kalamazoo Marathon.

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