Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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F1 brings entrepreneurial business boom

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TWC News: F1 brings entrepreneurial business boom
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On the day of the British Grand Prix, tens of thousands of race fans pass by Businessman George Scott’s home.

The homeowner enlisted a group of friends to transform the house into a one-stop shop for the masses.

"This is a tiny road out there, and nearly 100,000 people come past either in cars or walking," he said.

In addition to renting out rooms to guests, the backyard has been transformed into a bar and a sign advertises delicious food.

"Burgers, sausages, curry, chili, chips, just basic food that's easy to cook," Businessman Eric Martin said. "[It’s] busy hard work, early mornings, late nights."

The race offers an economic boost to this mostly rural region. Scott also operates a nearby pub. He says he looks forward to Formula One’s boost each year.

"They come to my pub to have a drink, but mostly to have something to eat. It does a big uplift in trade," he said.

Food and drink is just part of the equation. Souvenirs and memorabilia shops also spring up around the circuit. In Austin Wyman Gilliam's restaurant, Wild Bubba’s, been championing Formula One since he learned the Circuit of the Americas was going to be his neighbor.

"I've been around before Formula One came out here and I'll be around from now on," Gilliam said. "It's good for me here and it's good for everyone who has a business and it's good for our property owners."

He sees the track and events surrounding the Grand Prix as a catalyst for future growth in the area. He says Formula One will bring much needed infrastructure and development to what is now a rural community.

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