The Arnold Sports Festival is an economic engine unmatched in Central Ohio, bringing 18,000 athletes to the region.
“Right now the Arnold Classic weighs in at $42 million in visitor spending for that one weekend, which is an enormous sum of money for the community," said Linda Logan of the Columbus Sports Commission.
Organizers said visitors will use more than 100 hotels. Every downtown hotel is booked and some hotels in Gahanna are full as well.
The Arnold Sports Festival is felt throughout the community as guests eat in local restaurants and shop in local stores.
Organizers estimated that 175,000 visitors attend the Arnold Classic. One place that will likely benefit from those hungry athletes is the North Market.
"We get a ton of business it's really important," said Jennifer Gammill of Hubert’s Polish Kitchen.
Gammill worked at the Arnold last year, and said business usually jumps 15 percent during the event and that people eat so many homemade pierogi's.
“Every time the Arnold Classic comes we have to buy more food because we know we're going to sell out,” she said.
Even local gyms, like Lifetime Fitness at Easton, plan to beef up staffing to handle the crowds.
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