Visitors bureau: Great Lakes Grand Prix set records


A boat in this year’s Great Lakes Grand Prix. (WNLP photo by Mike Kellems)

Press release provided

The decision to expand Michigan City’s 2021 Great Lakes Grand Prix by continuing with the two races this year paid off in a big way for the community, by setting all-time records for both attendance and earnings, according to Visit Michigan City LaPorte Visitors Bureau.

A total of 249,400 people visited the 12th annual event held Aug. 4 – Aug. 8, generating $17.7 million for La Porte County’s economy, according to the bureau. “We were expecting good attendance and we didn’t get disappointed” said Jack Arnett, executive director of Visit Michigan City La Porte. “Adding the AquaX events again was a big success and we plan on growing that part of the event moving forward.”

The Great Lakes Grand Prix, held on Lake Michigan on the southern shore of Michigan City’s Washington Park, features some of the world’s fastest powerboats, racing at speeds nearing 175 miles per hour. Originally staged to showcase Michigan City and its lakefront, the race has become a top draw for visitors.

“The Great Lakes Grand Prix is such an amazing event, and we are so lucky to have it in Michigan City at our beautiful lakefront. The impact that this event has on our economy is huge, but equally as important is the social impact. Michigan City comes together and shows what an incredible community this really is” said Mayor Duane Parry.

The economic impact report is done by Certec, Inc., a marketing analysis group based in Lexington, Ky. The report shows that visitors from out of town, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Florida, spent $11.8 million this year on direct expenditures such as food, beverages, shopping and transportation, accounting for a large portion of this year’s $17.7 million in earnings. In addition, local residents attending the event contributed an additional $913,000 in direct spending. Jobs directly related to the Grand Prix provided more than $3.9 million in wages to LaPorte County workers.

The 13th event is scheduled for Aug. 4 – Aug. 7, 2022.

For more information contact Jack Arnett, or 219-608-9659.

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