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Skating for the gold in East Lansing

Hundreds of the nation’s best teenage figure skaters are in East Lansing this week competing in the U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships. Organizers say the Lansing area economy is among the winners.   

On the ice, figure skaters glide through their routines to strains of classical music.  But it’s the hundreds of skaters, their coaches and families who are music to the ears of East Lansing businesses.   

The competition is generating more than $600,000 in added business at local hotels, restaurants and retailers. That’s according to Mike Price, with the Greater Lansing Sports Authority.

“When they’re in town, (the skaters) are only on the ice for a few hours.  So, they are really looking to fill another ten or 12 hours a day," says Price, "So they are visiting our attractions…they are eating in our restaurants…they are shopping in our stores around Christmas…they are really looking for other things to do while they’re here.”      

Price hopes the success of this event will enable the Lansing area to draw more Olympic sports competitions to mid-Michigan. The U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships wrap up Wednesday. 


Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.