TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP — It’s officially race weekend, one of the busiest times for businesses near the Pocono Raceway.
Tents with race gear are set up to sell and local businesses are hoping for a busier weekend than usual.
Businesses along the roads leading into the Pocono Raceway are ready for this weekend’s Pocono 400, and are keeping their fingers crossed that this beautiful weather we’re seeing now is around to stay, helping boost sales even higher than usual.
Inside Ray’s Tuscan Village Pizza shop, they’re running nearly triple the staff and have seen business picking up since Monday and they say this warm, dry weather can only help.
“The last three races that I have been here for, torrential rain, so to not have the rain that we’ve had in previous years, hopefully sales will continue to stay up,” said Alan Knee.
Next door, the fireworks store is preparing for booming business this weekend as well, but they say dryer weather might mean a mad rush all at once.
“If we had a little bit of rain, the people leaving it would be sporadic. If they’re all leaving at the same time, we’re just going to get a big rush but we’re prepared for that. We’ve got a lot of workers on staff and we’re ready for anything here,” said Marguertie Carver, Bada Boom Fireworks.
All of the businesses set up along the side of the roadway this weekend hope the nice weather helps boost their sales, to balance out high gas prices they had to deal with to get here.
“The weather’s looking great, gas prices not so much. They’re about 25 cents higher in Pennsylvania than they are, for instance, in Delaware,” said Sports Cards Etc. owner Linda Maiden.
Maiden drove from North Carolina to Dover last weekend to here in the Poconos. Shoppers browsing her tent on Route115 in the Poconos say the selection is just what they’re looking for.
“It’s easier, and we live here. It’s nice. We just want to get something to get signed by Brad,” said Linda Lalusis of Lake Harmony.
Other tent owners just hope the sunny skies draw enough shoppers out to make their trip worthwhile.
“The weather is on the plus side for us this time, so we’re looking forward to what it might yield for us.”
Many of these businesses will be set up from now through Monday.
The Pocono 400 runs Sunday at 1 p.m.