Even though Jason Stanley hasn't served as general manager at New Albany's Rusty Bucket long enough to have worked during last year's New Albany Walking Classic, he knows it's a big event.

Even though Jason Stanley hasn't served as general manager at New Albany's Rusty Bucket long enough to have worked during last year's New Albany Walking Classic, he knows it's a big event.

"It's definitely something we're looking forward to," he said.

For Stanley's first Walking Classic as manager here, he's adding two extra servers during lunch, and one more for dinner. He estimates the restaurant will earn $1,000 more than usual during lunch.

The Rusty Bucket won't be the only business benefiting from the Walking Classic when it's held 8 a.m. Sept. 11 in Market Square. Event founder Phil Heit said 3,200 people will attend the walk, and typically only 18 percent of attendees come from New Albany.

Out-of-town visitors descending on the city can be a boon not only to nearby businesses but also the city's hotels.

The Walking Classic is a walking-only race that gives participants a choice to walk either a half-marathon or a 10K. All the entry fees go to Healthy New Albany, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health initiatives affecting individuals throughout Ohio.

About 35 states and 350 ZIP codes are represented at the Walking Classic, Heit said, and a very large contingent of attendees come from Canada.

Carly Price, general manager at New Albany Courtyard by Marriott hotel, 5211 Forest Drive, said the hotel has about 65 room nights booked between Sept. 9 and 10, about 20 room nights fewer than last year. She attributes the decrease to the February opening of Hampton Inn & Suites New Albany.

"It's definitely not a major change," Price said.

Most of the Courtyard's Walking Classic guests are repeat customers, typically making reservations for next year's event about a month after the event they just attended concludes, Price said.

New Albany has a 6-percent hotel bed tax, city finance director Chad Fuller said.

City spokesman Scott McAfee said some of the revenue is given to the New Albany Chamber of Commerce to promote the city and attract more people to events such as the Walking Classic, which showcases the city's great neighborhoods.

"This event provides an opportunity to really see how beautiful our community is, and how welcoming it is," he said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah