Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

March 14, 2014

Area hotels, restaurants hope Bristol race is big win for local economy

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Local hotels and restaurants are hoping to see an economic impact this weekend as race fans flock to the Bristol Motor Speedway.

Marie Blackwell, executive director of the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the county is always impacted by the races.

“As far lodging and dining, it is great for the area,” Blackwell said.

Marc Meachum, president of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, said it’s great to have the fans here in Mercer County.

“We look forward to the race twice a year for a real economic boost,” Meachum said. “It’s nice to be able to showcase our area in hopes that fans will come back another time to visit other than the race.”

When the Bristol race is full, Mercer County can expect full hotels and restaurants, Robert Farley, President and CEO of Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce said.

“This activity is not in our area but it’s a win-win for us because people need a place to stay and it’s a relativity close drive. It will definitely benefit our area,” Farley said.

Ginger Branton, executive director at Richlands Area Chamber of Commerce, also added that in the past the race has been a strong economic impact.

“We welcome anyone to our area and are very excited to have fans visit the area,” Branton said.

— Contact Anne Elgin at