SBD/Issue 210/Events & Attractions

DC Mayor Williams Pleased With Last Weekend's Grand Prix

DC Mayor Anthony Williams called this past weekend's American Le Mans Series Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington "enormously successful," but he added that "further investment would be needed for next year's event to reduce the noise generated by dozens of high-powered cars speeding around a track within 150 feet of private homes," according to Serge Kovaleski of the WASHINGTON POST. Williams' comments were in response to DC Council members who requested that Williams and the DC Sports & Entertainment Commission "revoke" the ten-year contract with National Grand Prix Holdings, which promotes the event, "because of the excessive noise the race churned out." Williams: "I think it's premature to be talking about canceling a successful race for the city. We are committed to having the event." But DC Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs Dir David Clark said that his department "was looking into whether the sports commission misled regulators by answering 'No' to a question on an environmental-impact screening form about whether the operating noise from the Grand Prix would exceed the city's allowable level." Meanwhile, after the cost of holding the event was higher than expected, Williams said that he "will work to improve disclosure about the finances involved in staging the event" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/23). Also in DC, Donna De Marco reports that some hotels and restaurants "had an upswing in business" during last weekend's event, "while others didn't see much of an effect on their bottom lines." Washington D.C. Accommodations co-Owner Marilyn Matthews said, "It was disappointing. [Such an event] really needs to trickle down and boost the local economy and tourism" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 7/23).

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