Philadelphia Marathon aims to bring economic boost to local businesses

Some hotels are seeing rooms book up with people from all over the country and world for the marathon.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As thousands of people will be running this weekend as part of The Philadelphia Marathon, the hospitality industry is hoping those crowds will boost business.

While many restaurants may look like they're back to pre-pandemic levels, a lot still face staffing shortages.

"Just because you see your neighborhood restaurant busy doesn't mean they're recovered yet," said Ben Fileccia, director of operations and strategy for the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association. "It's going to take years before they're back in shape like they were in 2019."

Many runners will be looking for a spot to load up on carbs after their race.

"We see a lot of runners after the race. They kind of fill the bar. They always come to enjoy and have fun," said Donald Galvano, director of operations for Pub & Kitchen.

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On Friday, Center City was filled with people out for a stroll ahead of the big race. Some were on their way heading inside hotels.

Some hotels are seeing rooms book up with people from all over the country and world for the marathon.

Fileccia said hotels need more big events in town to help them, just like the local restaurants.

"The hotels in the city are struggling even more than the ones in the suburbs. You know it has a lot to do with the lack of conventions," said Fileccia.

The Pennsylvania Convention Center filled with runners picking up their race gear ahead of the weekend in hopes of restoring event life back into the city.

"Philadelphia's a big sports town, and when you run in the race on Sunday, you're part of the home sports team, and everyone comes out for you and cheers for you," said Mark Sullivan, who said he's run every Philadelphia Marathon. "The same as they would cheer for the Flyers or the 76ers or the Eagles, they're feeling the same excitement."

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