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ST. GEORGE — The Ironman 70.3 World Championship ended a couple of weeks ago, but the economic impact of the race will resonate throughout Washington County in the months to come.
Before the race started, planners and city officials hoped the international event would generate somewhere between $15 million and $18 million, and early returns suggest that goal was achieved.
"Data collected from athlete surveys confirms that the county realized nearly $18 million in direct economic impact from participants and visitors who came for the event," Kevin Lewis, director of Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office, wrote in an email to St. George News.
"Immediate impact is mostly centered around hospitality businesses," Lewis added. "But those dollars circulate through other businesses in the area creating revenue and jobs across many sectors."
Lewis said that without the tourism and visitor economy in Southern Utah, local residents would have fewer recreational, restaurant and entertainment options. They would also pay higher personal taxes to support other core services in the community.