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Tuesday May 5th, 2015 4:20AM

Visitors to Petit LeMans expected to spend $13 million

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
BRASELTON - The Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta is expected to bring some big bucks to the Lake Lanier region when all is said and done.

Stacey Dickson, President for the Lake Lanier Convention and Visitor's Bureau, said they track direct spending. That accounts for about $175 a day per person.

"We estimate that the direct spending of visitors will be somewhere around $13 million, and so that's just in gas, food, lodging and entertainment expense," Dickson said.

Dickson said the weekend event was expected to bring over 100,000 spectators.

She said some of the draw this year includes a couple of big names. TV star Patrick Dempsey's race team and famed driver Dario Franchitti were expected. Franchitti is married to actress Ashley Judd.

Dickson said you can get pretty close to some of those drivers and teams.

"It's not like at a NASCAR event where you're sort of stuck in the stands. The Road Atlanta races are very hands on and very fan-friendly."

Dickson said the event is also drawing what she called buzz because of the the merger of the GRAND-AM Road Racing and American Le Mans Series.

"It's humming louder than the race cars if you will, about the future potential of things happening at the track. There's been a lot of interest and excitement about this year's Petit LeMans," Dickson said.

The $13 million in revenue does not include what race teams have spent leading up to the event.
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