Local business owners react to Pocono Raceway losing one NASCAR race in ’22

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LONG POND, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — With only one NASCAR race returning to Long Pond, there will be a ripple effect on the local economy.

Business owners say the announcement will hurt what is usually a strong economic boost. It’s been two years since businesses in the area have had two separate race weekends’ worth of revenue. They tell Eyewitness News it’s likely they will never see that again.

For the first time in nearly four decades NASCAR fans will only be able to enjoy one Cup Series race at the Tricky Triangle.

“Lets go! Come on everybody, then you meet a bunch of people. Once you get hooked up with race fans you go from place to place to place. You know, I love it,” Louie Ciancio of Penn Forest Township said.

Living in the Poconos, Ciancio tells Eyewitness News you have to love it. In 2022 the love will be short-lived.

“If they are going to do it once, it’s not going to really help anybody,” Ciancio said.

Businesses like Harmony Beverage profited off tens of thousands of people coming to the race track twice in one year. The last time that happened: 2019.

“People that camp here come, but also the people from the hotels because you know they want to get maybe a little snack or something before they go back their room. We get a combination of everything in here. All kinds of people, all walks of life,” Harmony Beverage employee Cathy Kresge said.

Kresge says the doubleheader in June did better than just a single-race weekend.

“In all honesty it wasn’t the same impact as if we would have had two weekends,” Kresge said.

Harmony Beverage is not alone.

“Everything was crunched into the weekend and so that’s just a weekend and access revenue that you have when the race is here,” Chat n Chew Café owner Mike Dovidio said.

Dovidio says the decision by NASCAR will hurt the local economy, but hopes Pocono Raceway will continue to bring more events to the area.

“We hope, you know, will help create a whole new crowd of people to come in and experience the area. Not just our business, but everybody’s business,” Dovidio said.

If you’re wondering the NASCAR Cup Series will be coming to Pocono Raceway on July 24th.

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