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Laurence Chalip and Anna Leyns

Four studies are reported that examine the status and potentials for local businesses to leverage the Gold Coast Honda Indy. The leveraging efforts of local businesses are identified in Study 1. Most local business managers fail to recognize the event as a leveraging opportunity. Tactics used by businesses that do attempt to leverage the event are examined in Study 2. Businesses that leverage the event obtain benefits through the use of standard promotional and theming tactics. Experts’ views about leveraging the event are obtained in Study 3. The experts conclude that some coordination of local businesses' leveraging efforts would be advantageous. The views of local business leaders are solicited in Study 4. The business leaders favor leveraging but prefer that the coordination come from an existing business organization or association, rather than through government or a new bureaucracy. The studies suggest that the potentials for leveraging are largely unrealized and that some degree of inertia would need to be overcome to realize those potentials. It is argued that event organizers have the most to gain by fostering and coordinating local business leveraging.