RedBud revs up revenue for local businesses

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BUCHANAN, Mich. The nation's largest motocross race at RedBud means big business for the small town of Buchanan.

Every year, the event draws up to 30,000 fans from all over the country to Southwest Michigan. And, they bring lots of money with them.

"They come here and they spend a lot of money when we come into town as a whole circuit for hotels, and food and everything," said Scott Adkins, Christophe Pourcel's lead technician.

Many of the teams stay at hotels in South Bend, where large parking lots can accommodate the special semis they bring along.

"At any time, we could have two to six semi trucks out back," said Kim Allsop, the general manager at The Inn at Saint Mary's. "It's really cool to see them running around, preparing outside. And, hearing about their events at the track."

The semis are stocked with so many parts, mechanics could rebuild several bikes with them.

When they're out at the track. competitors and fans often venture to Buchanan businesses to stock up on food or other supplies.

"We get a lot of people that want the water, the ice and the gas, naturally," said Lynda Clark, manager of Buchanan's BP gas station. "So, we just stock up a little bit more."

Gary Z's Sub Shop downtown also prepares for a RedBud rush. They order more meat and cheese and come in earlier to make extra bread.

"We get extremely busy on Friday and Saturday from people coming in and out," said owner Mariah Molitor. "More and more people come here every year that don't know we're here."

While having thousands of extra people in the town of less than 5,000 can, at times, be chaotic -- business owners say it's all part of the fun.

"It brings excitement to our little town," Clark said.