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Thousands of People Add Up To Millions of Dollars During World Games

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RALEIGH — Local retailers are celebrating theSpecial Olympics World Summer Gamesalong with the thousands of athletes, coaches, family members and spectators.

All those people are spending time here, and while they're here, they're spending money. Thousands of people add up to millions of dollars.

When the Peruvian delegation came to the Triangle, one of their first stops wasCrabtree Valley Mallfor some shopping. And the Peruvians are not alone.

The athletes, coaches, and families from 150 countries are shopping in our stores, eating at our restaurants, and sleeping in our hotels.

"That's the real plus of travel and tourism," says Dave Heinl, of theGreater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"People come in from outside, they earn their money outside, they come here and they spend it for three or four days, or in this case 9 days, and then they go home," Heinl says. "And they leave all that money in your community and that's what the economic impact is of that new, fresh dollar in our community."

It cost about $35.5 million to bring the Special Olympics World Games to the Triangle. The economic impact is expected to be about $65 million. That adds up to a pretty good investment.

WRAL will broadcast nightly World Games specials from 7:30 to 8 p.m. through Friday night. You can also catch a five-minute recap of the day's happenings every night after WRAL's 11:00 News. You can also watch it all on WRAL OnLine.

Traffic will no doubt be affected by the World Games. For updates throughout the day, you can checkTriangle Traffic. Some roads have been closed until the Games end, including Dan Allen Drive, Cates Avenue and Morrill Street, all in Raleigh.

The World Games run through July 4.


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