Duluth businesses’ preparations for Grandma’s Marathon runners
Duluth businesses’ preparations for the 2023 Grandma’s Marathon is shaping up to be a difficult task. With more than 20,000 runners, their families and other spectators arriving in Duluth, hotels are almost completely full. Also restaurants are getting the final ingredient shipments for the sheer number of visitors showing up for the weekend.
Preparing for Grandma’s is a team effort, and Jordan Dols, the General Manager at the Radisson Hotel said it can be challenging juggling rooms for new guests and returning guests for the weekend. “Grandmas marathon is usually gets pretty booked up, I’d say eight or nine months before the event kicks off.” Dols said. “Typically after the marathon to run, you’ll start getting people that want to run for next year.”
Dols also said that plenty of other hotels and Duluth businesses’ in Duluth and Canal Park have been dealing with full rooms. “Everyone just gets extremely busy. We’ll fill up Friday and Saturday night for sure. Through the night gets really busy and we even get some of the vendors and stuff that start showing up on Wednesday. So it’ll be a full weekend.” Dols said.
Restaurants in the Canal Park and other Duluth businesses’ are also trying to gather enough food and fixings for the tens of thousands of runners, their families and other spectators arriving. Henry Klinkhammer, the Assistant General Manager of Vitta Pizza in Canal park, said that they always look forward to Grandma’s but not everyone knows the amount of planning and food preparation required. “It’s always just making sure that you’re stocked up on flour, having enough tomatoes, it’s hard for the delivery companies.” Klinkhammer said. “I think that’s something that a lot of people don’t really think about when they go get food is that there’s a lot of companies behind just the restaurant. It’s trying to coordinate with them and make sure that we’ve got everything down here on that day.”
Klinkhammer said Vitta Pizza will try to send out pizzas without the wait taking half an hour during the marathon. “It’s something that we look forward to every year and it’s probably our busiest day. So it’s, you know, it’s nonstop traffic. It’s nonstop people coming through the store. And that’s a good thing.” Klinkhammer said.