CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - The report from Reuters that the France family was exploring the possibility of selling NASCAR has gotten the attention of a lot of folks in the Charlotte area.
The area that includes Mooresville, Concord, and several other local communities is home to approximately 90% of the teams that compete in the top three series of NASCAR, and Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts races in all three divisions.
The sport is a huge economic driver for the region and a big employer.
Motorsports, especially NASCAR, produces an annual economic impact of $6 billion and employs more than 25,000, according to the North Carolina Motorsports Association.
On Tuesday the Cabarrus County Convention Visitors Bureau held an annual event to thank service providers for all they do to promote and maintain tourism.
Hotel, restaurant workers, and many others enjoyed a free lunch, games, and prizes. The event coincides with National Tourism Week.
In Cabarrus County particularly, racing plays a huge role in the growth of tourism
"Cabarrus County is fortunate to have a community that welcomes growth, hospitality partners who warmly welcome visitors, and visitors who welcome new adventures," said Cabarrus County CVB President and CEO Donna Carpenter. "Combined, these things fuel our area's tourism industry and quality of life. Without the state and local taxes generated by visitors in Cabarrus County, each household would pay $484 more in taxes each year."
The latest tourism impact statistics come from "The Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2016"—a study prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association. Highlights of the study specific to Cabarrus County include:
-Cabarrus County ranks 12th in travel impact among NC's 100 counties
-Domestic visitors to and within Cabarrus County spent over $433 million in 2016
-Tourism generates more than 4,500 jobs and $98 million in payroll in Cabarrus County
-Tourism generated over $32.5 million in combined state & local tax revenues in 2016
No one from NASCAR has made any comment to confirm or deny the Reuters report, but local officials say they will be keeping an eye on the news to see what, if any impact could come about as a result of new ownership.
"It's just that. It's news and of course we will be watching that to see what happens, but whatever happens, we're going to look on the positive side and say whatever they decide will be good for the sport," Carpenter added.