Spokane eateries get business boom from skating

Some Spokane restaurant owners say business didn’t improve much with the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in town over the weekend, despite event organizers’ decision to schedule long gaps between sessions so fans would have time to spend money in the city.

Meanwhile, restaurants near the Spokane Arena saw a big boost in business.

“It might be a bad analogy after the earthquake in Haiti,” said Harry Sladich, president and CEO of the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau. “But the Arena is the epicenter of the financial impact. And the amount of money spent (in the community) diminishes the farther away from there one goes.”

The scheduling decision for the 2010 championships, which wrapped up Saturday, was made after the city hosted the 2007 championships. Visitors spent somewhere between $12 and $26 million that year – depending on whose numbers were used.

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