New Businesses Gearing Up for Grandma's Marathon

By KBJR News 1

June 15, 2013 Updated Jun 15, 2013 at 10:50 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCOW.com) - Many businesses are gearing up for the big race; some for their first time.

"It's an exciting time because it's brand new for us, we know what to expect as far as volume of people wise, but we don't know what that means to us right now. So we are really trying to play it by ear," said Pepin Young, General Manager of Canal Park Brewing Company.

Establishments such as Canal Park Brewing Company and Duluth Coffee Company are anticipating thousands of patrons and are trying to prepare accordingly.

"We are going to get a lot of pre-packaged black roasted coffee ready to go.. and we are doing some coffee for the volunteers so we will get here early around 4-4:30 and bring that over to the volunteers and get them caffeinated and energized for the day," said Charlie Comnick a roaster at the Duluth Coffee Company.

"We have so many people that help us out with this event, from our 6,000 volunteers and our 250 volunteer captains that work not just a couple of days, but they are working year round to make sure that grandma's marathon goes off without a hitch," said Bob Gustafson, PR Director for Grandma's Marathon.

The race is expected to bring about 17,000 runners...and even more spectators, which has quite an impact on the local economy.

"What this marathon brings in to this area is upwards of $8.5 million in impact for this economy. It's in the Duluth area, but is also seen as far away as Minneapolis with air travel and shuttle buses and everything...it's hotels its food and beverage and its a great economic boost in the arm for this economy," said Gustafson

With such a late start the tourist season, business owners say they have been waiting in anticipation for Grandma's marathon.

"Grandma's is kind of the beginning of that tourism season in Duluth, and we have been looking forward to it for a while," said Comnick.

The Grandma's Marathon will start bright and early in Two Harbors at 7:45 in the morning Saturday, June 22.