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Savannah expecting economic impact from limited event permits this fall

City of Savannah
City of Savannah(WTOC)
Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 5:49 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Fall in Savannah is typically full of festivals and race events. But this year, with limited event permits being issued within city limits, it is going to look a little different.

Racers were supposed to start arriving in Savannah on Friday, Oct. 8, for the Publix Women’s Half Marathon and 5K, but that event has been canceled.

Visit Savannah does expect some of those visitors will still come to town to enjoy the weekend, but there will be an impact from the cancellations. However, the city still expects about 90 percent occupancy in the hotels this weekend, even though the race is not happening.

“The bad news is we probably lost some hotel rooms. The good news is it is October, the weather is generally beautiful, this is a busy time of the year anyway so we will make up most of that ground,” said Joseph Marinelli, Visit Savannah President.

Another big event the city and Visit Savannah are keeping an eye on is the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon that’s set for November. Pre-registration already has about 16,000 racers signed up, and about 80 percent of those runners are coming from outside of Savannah.

Race organizers are in contact with the city to continue to work out what will happen with the race, which is scheduled for the weekend of November 6-7.

It is not a decision they take lightly as the event could bring in about $20 million to the Savannah community.

There is no final decision at this time, but WTOC will keep you updated as we get closer to race day.

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