The Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park gave Arcadia businesses a huge boost, with many reporting sales of 25 percent or higher over a typical weekend. About 89,000 people attended horse racing's Superbowl, most of whom came from out of town, Santa Anita CEO Mark Verge said.
"I think we nailed it," Verge said, adding that attendance far exceeded organizers' expectations. "In a perfect world, I would have been happy with 75,000."
Though the official numbers aren't in yet, the Cup reportedly racked in an estimated $60 million for the Los Angeles area as a whole. Roughly half that came from gambling, while the other half came from businesses not related to horse racing, such as hotels and restaurants.
Indeed, every hotel in Arcadia was booked solid — many for months prior to the Cup.
Oak Tree Inn employee Ginger Garcia said her hotel sold out in January, and has already begun receiving bookings for next year's Breeders' Cup, which returns to Santa Anita on Nov. 1-2.
Matt Denny's Alehouse owner Matt McSweeny said he had to set up a tent in the restaurant's parking lot Thursday through Saturday to accommodate the overflow crowd.
"The people were just wonderful," McSweeny said. "They were just here to have a good time."
The Derby also had a full house, seating diners on a reservations-only basis. Manager Ian Vidal said he, too, has received inquiries from people wanting to make reservations for next year.
"The Arcadia Chamber of Commerce is very pleased with the enormous success of Breeders' Cup again this year," Chamber President Scott Hettrick said. "We could not ask for better marketing of our town."
Mayor Bob Harbicht said the city worked closely with Breeders' Cup and Santa Anita officials to ensure a great meet, and things went off without a hitch.
"There was a lot of excitement in the stands," Harbicht said. "I would call it a very happy event."
Despite the huge influx of people, no public safety issues arose, Arcadia Police Lt. Tom LeVeque said.
Meanwhile, rumor has it the Cup went so smoothly, that it will return not only in 2013 as planned, but find a permanent home at Santa Anita.