SBD/Issue 228/Events & Attractions

The Winston Will Return To Lowe's Motor Speedway In '03

NASCAR's all-star race, The Winston, will be held next year at Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS), where the event has been held for the past 15 years, according to Adam Bell of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, who notes that since last May, NASCAR execs have suggested rotating the event among various venues. But Mecklenburg and Cabarrus County leaders and others "lobbied to keep the race, pledging to help raise $1.5[M] to help pay for a month's worth of events" leading up to The Winston. Sources said that LMS will host the race for another year, "as NASCAR evaluates how well the area handles the event" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/16). WSOC-ABC's Debi Faubion said The Winston "pumps $75-100(M) into the local economy, but NASCAR has made it clear it wants The Winston to be conducted on a much grander scale." Charlotte Economic Development & Planning Committee Chair Lynn Wheeler: "The spillover effect for Charlotte is enormous, and we are having a hospitality/tourism industry that's waning right now and having difficulty filling hotel rooms and restaurants, and (The Winston) would help the economy tremendously." WSOC-ABC's Bill Walker reported Charlotte-area business leaders will attempt to keep the race in Concord by "tripling their spending" (WSOC-ABC, 8/15). Raymond James & Associates analyst Joe Hovorka, on SMI potentially losing the event: "Investors would react negatively if the company lost an event that brings in 100,000 people" (Erik Spanberg, CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/16 issue).

LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT: In Charlotte, Eric Frazier reports that 12 people injured in May '00 in the collapse of a pedestrian bridge at LMS settled their civil lawsuits yesterday in Mecklenburg Superior Court. The parties "received an undisclosed amount of money from the defendants in the case, which included" LMS and SMI (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/16). Defendants also included SC-based Tindall Corp., which built the bridge, and NJ-based Anti-Hydro Int'l, which "supplied the grout that inspectors say corroded the bridge's steel cables" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 8/16).

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