BROOKLYN (PIX11) — The weather forecast for the marathon on Sunday calls for perfect weather.
The business forecast also looks favorable, but whether it can make up for lost profits during the pandemic is a question for many business owners and workers.
The jury is still out, but at businesses along the 26.2-mile route, they are optimistic.
Bedford Avenue here is in the heart of the Brooklyn leg of the world’s most-watched road race. Vinnie’s Pizza is on Bedford, just south of 9th Street.
“It’s a nightmare,” said shop manager Erik Gunderson about Marathon Sunday, “but it’s a fun nightmare.”
Fun, he said, not only because he enjoys the event, but also because he has got a lot of company. Two million spectators, to be precise.
More spectators can add up to more profits, according to Ihab Jibril, the owner of another marathon route business, Oasis Falafel and Shawarma restaurant.
“Actually, maybe 30 percent more” business, Jibril said in an interview. He said that his eatery has been on the route for 30 years and that while some years are better than others, each marathon has been great for his bottom line.
There was one exception to that, he said.
“Maybe in the pandemic, [it] slows down. Thank God it is back to normal,” he said, adding a rosy forecast for this coming Sunday.
“I expect it this year to be more than the pandemic.”
In the years that detailed economic statistics have been monitored, the trend has been upward. In 2014, according to the commerce analysis firm AECOM, in coordination with New York Road Runners, the marathon generated $415 million.
That amount rose to $427 million in 2019, according to the firm Audience Research and Analysis.
As for 2023, Nicholas Economides, a professor of economics at the NYU Stern School of Business who analyzes commerce issues, said the prospects are good.
He said in an interview, “Things should look like 2019.”
Because of factors that are like the year before the pandemic, including the number of runners, and the state of the local economy overall, he predicted at least parity in economic performance for this year.
As for surpassing pre-pandemic levels, Economides was more cautious, but not doubtful.
“I suggest we ask [local businesses] in a few days as well, [to] make sure their expectations are fulfilled,” he said.
Another barometer of marathon route performance is the Qahwah House café, on Bedford Avenue.
Just before midday on Friday, after the morning rush, and before the height of the lunch crunch, the Yemeni-style coffee shop was still buzzing with activity.
Its staff said that it was only a precursor to activity on Sunday.
“It’s going to be triple the crowd,” Saed Alsaedi, the manager, said. “I expect [it]. Very looking forward to it.”