Updated: June 18, 2021 09:36 PM
Created: June 18, 2021 01:53 PM
As one of the first major marathons in the country to return post-pandemic, Grandma's brings with it a great deal of business for the local economy.
At Little Angie’s, it was all hands on deck Friday as they prepared to reign in the 2021 Marathon.
Greg Schlegel, Front of the House Supervisor and Bar Manager, said they had been preparing for weeks.
“It’s finding the staff, it’s getting all of our product ordered and just getting ready for the rest of the Northland to come down here,” Schlegel said.
Schlegel said they plan to open as early as 7:00am Saturday, with their bar opening as early as 8:00am. They have also brought in a beer trailer and a Bloody Mary bar for their patio, where they plan to have live music Saturday night.
After the marathon was cancelled last year as a result of the pandemic, they look forward to the opportunity to bring in the big bucks like years past once more.
“It probably is the biggest attraction to Duluth yearly, so there’s millions of tourist dollars that we missed out on last year that we get to make up this year, so we are trying to do our best to make sure everyone has a good time and keep this tradition going,” Schlegel said.
In addition to restaurants, hotels are another huge part of keeping Grandma’s Marathon traditions alive.
As of Friday morning, the Comfort Suites said they were 80% full.
“Guests are excited to be back,” Janell Mussman, General Manager of the Comfort Suites said. “Some of our regulars that haven't been here in a couple of years—they are excited to be back. Of course the boardwalk is also brand new and they are amazed with all of the changes in spite of COVID, so I think it's going to be a great weekend for everybody.”
Mussman said they expect to fill the majority of their remaining rooms Friday night into Saturday morning as more runners and their loved ones arrive in Duluth.
"Its nice to feel pretty much normal," Mussman said.