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Ironman race expected to bring economic boom to Chattanooga and North Georgia

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 We're just a few weeks away from the Ironman Chattanooga competition. Those racing have been preparing for months, but they're not alone.

The cycling portion of the race will be leading participants down into North Georgia where businesses are preparing their shops for what they hope is an influx of patrons.

Thousands of cyclists will be riding down 112 miles of North Georgia roads.
"We're excited to have them come and enjoy the beauty of this area and hopefully they'll come back," said Stephanie Snodgrass, President of Walker County Chamber of Commerce.

Chattanooga is estimated to gain seven to nine million dollars of economic impact from the Ironman race.
With Chickamauga being dubbed a popular watch spot, with an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 spectators, they're expected to see some growth themselves.

"It's hard to tell, hopefully it will be around $500,000," said Snodgrass.

Local businesses like Red Barn Designs are excited about the event, opening their store even on a scheduled day off.

Co-owner Mary Hartman says they've only been opened a few months, but have noticed their customers aren't just locals.

"A lot of our customers are from out of town, I think Facebook, media, newspaper, it helps," said Hartman.

With such a large volume of out-of-towners expected to be standing right outside their door, they're taking advantage of the situation.

"We have high hopes we will draw a crowd," said Hartman.

The economic impact for Walker County has already started with nearly 300 cyclists a week riding the course.

For those that might want to watch from North Georgia, there will be free shuttle services from Chattanooga to Chickamauga throughout the race day.

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