Cycling race shuts down downtown; how did businesses fare? - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cycling race shuts down downtown; how did businesses fare?

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Employees at the Cupcake Kitchen on Broad Street worked to fill its bakery Tuesday.

The day before the entire block was shut down but the shop remained open.

"It was very slow in the morning," says Kristina Crawford.  

The owners decided to stay open on Memorial Day, however, it wasn't just a holiday. This business, like many others in the downtown and Northshore area were hoping thousands of cycling fans would pay them a visit on a holiday they say is typically slower.

"Towards the afternoon we had people coming in here and there, kind of little spurts of business and then it would slow back down," says Crawford.

"The businesses along the north shore, it wasn't as big a crowd as they had hoped for but they were steady all day," says Phillip Grymes.

Grymes is with Outdoor Chattanooga and was instrumental in bringing the cycling race to the city.

"We went to the businesses along the course and left them a note in advance," Grymes says.  

He says they did consider the impact on local businesses while planning the big race.

"Anytime you have a large event in the city, there's going to be pluses and minuses," Bob Doak says.  

Doak is with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, he says the race helped the city tremendously.

"It also brought attention to us, that Chattanooga is capable of hosting an event of this caliber," Doak says.  

He says that will only help the city in the future.

"They stay in hotels, they shop in our stores, they go to our restaurants and to our attractions," Doak explains.

He says it could take several weeks before officials can truly understand the financial impact the race had on the downtown economy.

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