The "win-win" of the Special Olympics in the Twin Cities

By WEEK Reporter

June 15, 2012 Updated Jun 16, 2012 at 5:40 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. -- Illinois State University is hosting the Special Olympics summer games this weekend, and with the event comes an economic boost to the area.

More than 3,500 athletes will descend on ISU this weekend, spending time and money in the Twin Cities. The Bloomington Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the Special Olympics will bring in half a million dollars to restaurants, hotels and other Twin Cities businesses.

The Sports Marketing Manager for the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Matt Hawkins, said the summer games have a positive impact in multiple ways, "We're very proud to have them here in our community, very proud to host two or three of their larger events throughout the year. It's definitely a win-win situation when it comes to the economic impact as well as the behind the scenes stuff."

The Special Olympics will run through Sunday. For a complete schedule, visit

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