Off-season accolades continued for Chicagoland Speedway with the Joliet Chamber of Commerce presenting them with the 2001 Business of the Year Award. Joie Chitwood, vice president and general manager of Chicagoland Speedway, accepted the award Monday, November 5. Chamber Chairman of the Board of Directors, Gregory Repetti, presented the award during the organization?s annual Membership Awards Dinner. ?If I would have sat back and wished for something, I think we would have exceeded every wish I could have had,? said Chitwood about the inaugural season during his acceptance speech. He added, ?Our inaugural season was successful because of the help of the Joliet Chamber of Commerce, the City of Joliet and the staff of Chicagoland Speedway.? The award was given to Chicagoland Speedway in recognition of its significant impact on the economics and business within Joliet. ?We could not think of a business that has given more to the Joliet community than Chicagoland Speedway,? said Russ Slinkard, president/ceo of the Joliet Chamber of Commerce. ?They have been a wonderful corporate citizen and have given much to the Joliet community. They have really put Joliet on the map.? Joyce Julius, a corporate marketing sponsorship analyst firm, estimated that Joliet, Illinois experienced over $500,000 in exposure during television broadcasts in 2001 for Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway events combined. The Tropicana 400 alone earned a 5.6 national TV rating and a 14 share on NBC, totaling 21 million viewers tuning into the race in Joliet. The economic impact on the Joliet community and surrounding areas was not only felt during race week with local hotels full and the majority of restaurants without seats, but during the construction phase as well. According to an economic impact study by Dr. Paul Green and Dr. Peter Creticos, the construction project alone was estimated to create a total of nearly 3,400 jobs, generating $107 million in wages. The 2,080 construction-related jobs were also expected to generate approximately $71.6 million in wages, with 40% expected to initially be spent in the Joliet-Will County area. Also, 1,310 indirect jobs (hotels, services, etc.) were expected to generate $35.4 million in wages. This is the second award given to Chicagoland Speedway in the last two months for their leadership in the business and economic community. In September, Chicagoland Speedway was named member of the year for the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitor?s Bureau for their impact on tourism in the Chicago Metropolitan Area.
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