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The 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon generated more than $253 million worth of economic activity for the area, race officials announced Thursday.
It was the first time in the marathon's 36 years that business activity exceeded $250 million. The 2012 race, by comparison, brought $243.46 million worth of activity to the local economy.
"Exceeding $250 million for the first time underscores not only the significance of the economic and tourist activity the race brings to the city, but also supports the fact that the Marathon has a personal connection to everyone involved, whether a runner, spectator, business owner, or charity," Tim Maloney, the president Bank of America Illinois, said in a written statement.
The independent study of the 2013 race, conducted by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, found it directly contributed to an estimated
$101.8 million to Chicago's tourism industry.
Don Welsh, the president of Choose Chicago, the city's tourism arm, called the marathon a "demand generator that helps foster increased visitation from around the globe, adding that 25 percent of visitors to the city for the 2013 race were in Chicago for the first time.
"Fifty six percent of participants say their motivation was to run through one of the most beautiful cities in the world," he said.
The 2013 race drew 40,900 race participants, with 17 percent of them coming from areas outside the United States.