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Businesses and runners react to Grandma's being canceled

Updated: March 31, 2020 06:14 PM

Plenty of heavy moments for those in the already stressed out hospitality industry, when they heard that Grandma's Marathon was canceled because of COVID-19.

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Brian Daugherty, president of Grandma's Restaurants, said his first thought was kind of funny. He said, "I wondered, what am I going to do that weekend?" That's because he's been at the marathon for the past 43 years.

"This leads to a void, that's for sure. There's a lot of reunion in that event," he added. "But I'd say to those people, see you next year!"

He and his colleagues have been adapting their business model to meet the rules of the government. They still provide a meal to laid off workers each day. "We are hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst. That's what the whole country is doing, personally and professionally right now."

Over at the Inn on Lake Superior, the phones began ringing with people canceling their rooms. "We had a woman call and said, this year I was going to be an elite runner," shared Kim Chick, acting sales manager. 

Although initially feeling down about the cancellation, they started working with their guests right away. "We thought, lets give these guests an opportunity to bump their reservations forward to 2021, in the same room as this year, with the same rate."

Some are taking advantage of that. Others are canceling, not knowing what their 2021 plans are.

People also weighed in on social media, about the announcement. 

Polly wrote, "This is heartbreaking. As someone who has volunteered for this race for about 30 years, it will be a sad summer without Grandma's. I know it's necessary to be safe, though."

Christina added, "I'm so bummed. First time I'm available to do William A. Irvin 5K, and it's canceled."

Lisa shared, "That's one of my son's summer jobs. Setting up and tearing down. Every single one of my senior's events are being taken away. I get it, just sad."

And Donna wrote, "Very sad for the participants who have trained over the past year. Along with businesses that will be affected by this."

One silver lining for the marathon. The Superior Street reconstruction will be finished up, so next year, there won't be any detours because of that project.

For more details about what Grandma's Marathon is working on for the virtual races, https://grandmasmarathon.com/

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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