Snocross event provides boost to North Adams businesses


NORTH ADAMS -- After a weekend of snocross racing in North Adams, the results are in: Everybody wins.

City officials and members of the business community said the event drew more than 5,000 people over two days, giving a healthy boost in sales to local restaurants, gas stations and hotels.

"I couldn't have been more pleased," said North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright. "Planning is everything, and this group really put together a great event."

He noted that all the city inspectors and public safety officials that were involved with the operation said it was "totally top-shelf."

"It came off as a wonderful event and we hope they come back next year," Alcombright added.

Including spectators, kids under 7, racers, pit crews and their family members, there were nearly 3,000 people at the East Coast Snocross racing event Saturday at The Range on Curran Highway, according to Peter Greenbush and Jamie Zdon, organizers of the event and principals in MVP Promotions. Another 2,500 or so were there for the Sunday races, they said.

"We see it as an amazing success," Zdon said. "We just hope it turned out as well for everyone else."

He said they received few complaints and saw lots of people excited to be at the races.

"I think we accomplished our goal," Greenbush added. "This event will definitely be back."

Off-site parking at the former North Adams Plaza, McCann High School, and the skating rink all filled up, requiring the city to open up Drury High School parking lots for more spectators, Greenbush noted. The two shuttle buses also turned out to be not quite enough, and a third was put into service to help spectators get to and from their cars.

Greenbush and Zdon said the shuttle bus fleet would be bigger next time, and they would like to include more elevated viewing areas so more spectators would have a better view of the races.

Colleen Taylor, co-owner of the Freight Yard Pub, said business at the restaurant was boosted by more than 30 percent throughout the weekend.

"I think it positively impacted all of the local economy," she said. "It was a huge influx all weekend, even Sunday. The energy of the town definitely changed. And everyone said they felt welcome here."

Taylor said she noticed the gas stations and stores also seemed busier.

"I hope they do it again next year," she said. "And I tip my hat to the organizers. I think they did real well."

Veronica Bosley, North Adams director of tourism, said the event was a welcome shot in the arm during the slow winter months.

"Restaurant owners said they had one of the best weekends they've had all year," she said. "Some had record attendance, especially for this time of year."

She was also impressed that MVP Promotions was able to pull off such a complex, high-attendance event in less than four months.

"And you could tell the community was really invested in it," she added. "We would love to see it again, maybe even more than one."

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