Businesses struggle to bring in Belmont Stakes crowds
Even though tens of thousands of people flocked to Elmont to attend the Belmont Stakes Saturday, local businesses say they struggled to bring in crowds despite the Triple Crown win.
About 90,000 people traveled to Belmont Park for the big race, but Pat Nicolosi, of the Belmont East End Civic Association, says that many of those people choose to go to nearby communities such as Floral Park or Garden City to dine or drink.
According to Nicolosi, the town incurs heavy costs when it comes to stepped-up police, fire and sanitation units, but little of that money is being recouped.
"It's like having a block party where you're not invited, and you're left with the bill," Nicolosi said.
Nicolosi admits that while the area does not offer some of the amenities offered by other local communities, the New York Racing Association could help things by contributing funds to the schools, police department and more.
A spokesperson for the New York Racing Authority released a statement that said, "This commitment also includes extensive financial and in-kind support to many local organizations, such as the Elmont Chamber of Commerce."
Although a number of small businesses struggled to bring in crowds during the race, some residents say they were able to net big profits. Some said that they charged upward of $40 to rent out their driveway for the day.
American Pharoah's victory Saturday marked the first Triple Crown awarded since 1978.