F1 fell flat for some Elroy business owners
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On the day when more people than ever before set foot in Elroy, Texas, you'd think one of the town's two convenience stores would be slammed—but they weren’t.
Business owner Rick Dhukka ordered extra stock and planned for large crowds, but by race time, it was mostly locals who were walking through the doors.
"Normal Sunday, like neighborhood business," he said. "Those people come just for the track only. they not come for our business here."
All around town, people had opened their yards for parking. Elroy resident Tanya Medina says her family's parking operation was just for fun. By Sunday, you could park in the yard for free, but the two-mile ride to the track would cost you.
"We used to have a price on it, but now we decided, since we weren't really getting too much parking, we'd just rather charge for the drop off and pick up," Medina said.
Jesse Zapata with Smokey Z’s Barbecue says he didn’t see nearly the crowds he was expecting.
"We thought it was going to be a bigger crowd, but it's steady, it keeps the grounds full with cars and the food has been going great with that," he said. "Next time I will probably, inventory-wise, go a little lower but otherwise we're having a good time out here."
Back at the store, Dhukka was also learning lessons from the area's first grand prix. He's hopeful that with future development in the area he'll see his business grow, but for now he's still glad F1 is here.
"It makes me disappointed, I thought we'd have too much business but it's not that much business yet," he said. "It is good thing. It is good for the whole city of Austin and this and that. There's a good chance for improvement."