Hot Rod Tour Brings Massive Economic Boost to Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The 20th anniversary of the Hot Rod Power Tour made a pit stop in Charleston on Monday, bringing thousands of visitors and dollars to the city.

Traveling from Connecticut, David Shepelle has enjoyed the day touring the city.

"It's an excellent venue right down along the water," Shepelle said. "People are cool with the shady trees and you get to walk one street and see all the vendors and all the cars."

The Hot Rod Power Tour is bringing in more than 3,000 visitors, all needing a place to stay the night.

Jamilah Clarke, director of sales and marketing at the Sheraton, said, "The economic impact is great in terms of room revenue, also bringing in this many people to Charleston increases the number of folks wanting to dine in our food and beverage establishments."

That economic impact is expected to come with at least an $800,000 boost, one that is much needed after the water crisis crippled the city for nearly five weeks at the beginning of the year. With seven states in seven days, Charleston had to compete for one of the coveted stops along the tour.

Jessica Kirchner, who is with media relations with Hot Rod Power Tour said, "It's really nice to be able to come to a beautiful downtown setting like this because it's a very scenic, historic downtown and the power tour fits perfectly here."

More events are planned throughout the summer, meaning more visitors and more money for the city.

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