"The Great Race" comes to Chico for the first time

Thousands of people headed to Downtown Chico Monday night for "The Great Race," and a chance to see more than a hundred antique cars making their way on a nine-day race. Besides being great fun, it's also bringing a boost to the local economy.

Posted: Jun 24, 2019 10:49 PM
Updated: Jun 24, 2019 10:53 PM

CHICO, Calif. -- Thousands of people headed to Downtown Chico Monday night for "The Great Race," and a chance to see more than a hundred antique cars making their way on a nine-day race. Besides being great fun, it's also bringing a boost to the local economy.

For the first time, "The Great Race" is in Chico.

"Seeing all the old cars, there's a couple that's a couple hundred years ago. That's just amazing to see," said Anthony Zuniga, a man who lives in Chico. 

Several hundred people from all over the world are racing 120 antique cars from Riverside, California to Tacoma, Washington.

"It's good for the town, it's good for Northern California. It's good for everything," said Tom Johnson, a man who lives in Chico.

The 2,300 mile race takes nine days and brings a big boost to the local economies it visits.

"Today, it's a million dollar impact from gasoline to hotel food and auto parts," said Jeff Stumb, a man who lives in Chico.

The great race organizers booked more than 300 hotel rooms in Chico for Monday night.

"I would say it is unusually busy due to the event. It definitely seems to have brought more traffic outside," said Mick Moore, a server at The Rawbar.

"There's a lot of people here, and you know, we spend, buy a lot of hotel rooms, motel rooms and meals and things," said John Hudson, a driver in "The Great Race."

Several people said this goes a long way for the local economy, especially with the population boom, post-Camp Fire.

"It's a good way to bring people together and lift spirits if they're still having trouble. When it brings in money it will help us and help Paradise," Zuniga said. 

On Tuesday, "The Great Race" fleet will head to Willets. 

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