I-500 Race Weekend Busy for Sault Ste Marie Area Businesses

The I-500 has raced its way into Sault Ste Marie, and that’s great news for local hotels and businesses.

The one of a kind snowmobile race attracts thousands to the Soo each year from all over the country.

“Last night we were packed, shoulder to shoulder,” said Cassie Maleport, bartender at Moloney’s Alley.

For five years, Maleport has been serving customers at Moloney’s Alley in downtown Sault Ste Marie.

“We look forward to I-500, it brings in so much business, so many people,” Maleport said. “I-500 is probably the busiest weekend of the year.”

Moloney’s inst the only place packed for the I-500….

“It brings millions of dollars into our economy, so the economic impact is tremendous,” said Jeff Holt, Executive Director of the Sault Ste Marie Economic Development Corporation.

“It’s such a boom for our economy, especially in the winter months when things tend to slow down,” Holt said. “Many of our businesses recognize a 20-30 percent increase in sales, which not only includes hotel, restaurants and night life but also retail stores as well.”

Holt says it also attracts snowmobilers to the miles of trails in the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

“The businesses benefit not only in Sault Ste. Marie but in our outlying areas, it’s felt as far away as Newberry, St. Ignace,” Holt said. “We are so very grateful that folks want to come here and we try to make it an experience for them.”

Maleport says she expects Moloney’s to stay packed all weekend long

“It’s just a good time, it’s something to look forward to every year,” Maleport said.

To learn how to stream this weekend’s I-500, click here.