Daytona Beach businesses get thousands of visitors during Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Daytona 500 brings tens of thousands of people to the area and is one of the busiest days of the year for local businesses.
"We start months in advance prepping for the Daytona 500," said Roxanne Ribakoff, the president of One Daytona.
Restaurants at One Daytona, across the street from the speedway, prepare for massive crowds of people in town for the big race.
"It goes from just about like this, to a two-hour wait out the door, lines of people, to-go’s everywhere, us running around like chickens trying to get everything done," said Joseph Gennaro, the general manager of Tiano’s Cucina Italiana.
Tiano's was stocked up and fully staffed.
The restaurant says it's something they look forward to all year.
"It’s definitely a big boost for us for sure," Gennaro said. "We look forward to race week every year. Of course there’s multiple weeks throughout the year we get the races so we’re very blessed for them, it drives a lot of income or business for us."
And hotels are completely full.
The Daytona Hotel says people book rooms for this week years in advance.
"We sell out typically five days out, in this case Wednesday through tonight," said Matt Karow, the hotel's general manager.
The Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce estimates the back-to-back hurricanes last year caused nearly a billion dollars worth of damage in the area.
Businesses hope events like these will bring them back.
"Everyone gets the benefit of having all these people coming from all over the country, some from all over the world," Ribakoff said. "All this money coming into the area is great for our economy here in Daytona Beach, so everybody gets to benefit from that."