Boston Marathon going virtual

BOSTON — The Boston Marathon is going virtual, and without the added foot traffic, things will likely feel slow on Boylston Street.

“It’s tough, I think the marathon brings in over $200 million dollars a year into the city and those are some of the busiest days of the year for us, hands down,” said Peter Gilmore, Marathon Sports store manager.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Thursday afternoon that the Boston Marathon was canceled this year, for the first time in its history.

Marathon Sports on Boylston Street is just one of many Boston businesses that will feel the pain financially without a traditional marathon. He said typically it’s all hands on deck during the week leading up to the race.

“It’s the busiest time of the year for us, but with hotels in the area and restaurants it just drives a lot of people from around the world to the town,” said Gilmore.

MORE: 2020 Boston Marathon canceled, mayor announces

But this year will look much different. Even business owners on Newbury Street can’t imagine a year without the thousands of visitors traveling in to help local spots thrive.

“The hotels, the restaurants, it brings in so many people and it brings in so much energy to the city and this is a bit morbid right now,” said Monique Levenson, stylist at Safar salon.

At the starting point in Hopkinton, town officials said their small businesses put a lot of weight on marathon week.

“Our town is known for the marathon and anytime that something like this doesn’t happen, it’s socially very sad but financially it has the potential to be very devastating to a lot of businesses,” said Brendan Tedstone, Chairman of the Hopkinton select board.

But they say they still want to stress that the race isn’t canceled, they will still continue to make the best of it and hold town-wide events all week long to keep the spirit going.