DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - While the Bojangles' Southern 500 is a big deal to the Pee Dee, its impact actually stretches even further out than just the Darlington area.
Despite the race taking place at Darlington Raceway, local leaders noted everyone is benefiting from the tract that is "too tough to tame." Tourism officials said Race Week represents a $50 million economic impact for Florence County.
Officials at the Florence County Convention and Visitors Bureau said, on average, Florence County will bring in about $290 million annually from tourists. Of that, $50 million can be attributed to this weekend's race.
During Race Week, Florence restaurants see a 30 percent daily uptick in business.
"We do a lot of race planning for the visitors coming in," said Holly Beaumier, director of the Florence County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We also offer shuttle service and that will take the people from the civic center, down to the track for Sunday's race."
The shuttle will start running on Sunday. A ride over to the track will cost $25.
"The Darlington track, the Lady in Black, it's one of those iconic attractions that brings people in worldwide," Beaumier said. "The Pee Dee having the Darlington Raceway is really key to our tourism."