The Boston Marathon is back with a full field of runners and spectators, and it's projected to pump $200 million into the local economy.
A lot of that money will be spent on food and lodging.
"It's awesome. Yeah, this is really exciting," said Chris Marino, who manages the Marathon Sports store at the finish line on Boylston Street.
It's very different from the past couple of years. TJ's Food and Spirits in Ashland sits at the second mile marker, and it's usually packed on race day — but it wasn't during last October's ramped-down marathon.
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"With the format changing, earlier start times and just precautions due to COVID, it really hasn't been a spectator sport," said Jill Tomasz, who works at TJ's.
It's taken until Patriots' Day 2022 to bring back a full marathon — now, the race is on, with the Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins all playing this weekend.
"It's an embarrassment of riches for us, and our hospitality community is so thrilled that we're going to have this killer weekend here in Boston," said Martha Sheridan of Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau.
She says good weather and outdoor dining bode well for restaurants, and the hotels are filling up.
"Hotels are not completely sold out," said Sheridan. "There's still some availability, but not much, so we're back to the good old marathon weekend days, which is fantastic."
The Marathon Deli in Ashland sits four miles from the starting line.
"This is moving in the right direction," owner Doug Fifield said. "It's going to get a lot of people out, especially if the weather is nice. A lot of people are going to be out and about, and hopefully, we all forget about the COVID, we're all safe, and we can move forward."