Verona businesses look to triathlon’s economic impact

VERONA, Wisconsin (WMTV) – The Wisconsin Triathlon is back for its 20th year, bringing economic growth to regional businesses.

According to Jamie Patrick, vice president of the Madison Area Athletic Commission, the competition brought in $3 million for Madison area youth sports, hotels and other businesses that benefit from swimming, cycling and running competitions.

Ironman’s bike section is right next to Jessica Laufenberg’s Rocket Bicycle store and N+1 Café.

Without the triathlon, Laufenberg said, her business wouldn’t be as successful.

“It definitely creates the ability for us to grow, relocate and add cafes,” she said. “It’s amazing to see other things grow out of it as well.”

She completed her first triathlon in 2002 and has turned her passion into profit through the strong community surrounding the sport’s events.

“A lot of people are doing Ironman for a purpose and a purpose these days, and the support from the community is huge,” Laufenberg said. “We were only 40 people, we were doing Ironman in the early 2000s, You go to a triathlon and there are five people in the local area, now there are 100 people.”

“With this, we’ve been able to develop a marketing plan and a sales plan to bring other events here to give our residents a higher quality of life,” Patrick said. “This has allowed us to win things like the CrossFit competition, the US Inter-County National Championships and all kinds of other events we wouldn’t be hosting here if Ironman hadn’t shown us that our community is mature and ready to host a sporting event.”

The Wisconsin Triathlon begins at 6:45am with the swimming portion of Lake Monona.

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