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Local Businesses Hope To Attract More Customers During This Year’s Grand Prix

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—While there were plenty of fans in the stands at last year’s Grand Prix, some nearby attractions and businesses saw fewer customers come through the door.

This year, as Mike Schuh reports, there’s a fresh effort to get fans into the city.

Plenty of people. Good racing. Nice publicity. But getting the race fans to venture beyond the race track, with some exceptions, didn’t really happen.

Business last year during the race was “probably down a little bit,” said Courtney Wilson, B&O Railroad Museum.

His experience is not unique and because of it, Visit Baltimore is working with the promoters and setting up its own effort to get fans beyond the core area.

“Well, we did Baltimore Race Promotions week last year, but the idea is to provide special offers for the community as well as race goers,” said Sam Rodgers, Visit Baltimore.

When race fans arrive, there will be signs all over the course, not directing them to the discounts and how to get there, but telling them to use their phones to find the discounts and maps on how to get there.

“I think the Grand Prix folks really need to make an effort to let their visitors coming to their event come enjoy Baltimore while they’re here. So anything that they can do to get people into restaurants, attractions, historic sites, museums, I think would be terrific,” Wilson said.

From half price admission to discounts at restaurants, in the end, no one wants a weekend race to harm those here year- round.

“I think we are going to strive to keep everyone happy this year,” Rodgers said.

There are two websites you might want to look at. For information on concerning Grand Prix traffic, click here. For discounts offered, click here.

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