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Friday, December 23, 2011 - 1:45pm

Rock Marathon Gets Mixed Reviews

Some downtown Savannah business owners are declaring what some considered one of the city's biggest tourism coups a "bust."

They hope city officials and event organizers make changes ahead of next year's Rock 'n Roll Marathon.

The November run drew about 23,000 and their guests and filled hotels.

A survey by the Downtown Business Association shows, hotel operators had a mostly positive impression of the race.

But other businesses were mixed about it.

DBA President Ruel Joyner owns a downtown furniture store and says -- just as with the 2004 Group of 8 world summit -- shoppers both out-of-town and local seemed to avoid downtown during the event.

"There was a comparison to the G8," Joyner says. "You could have rolled a bowling ball down Broughton Street and not hit anyone."

Joyner says, he's all for the race and expected hiccups the first year but does want to talk about business concerns for future races.

"I don't really think it was anything more than what would be expected for the first year," Joyner says. "But, it was just important that we were able to let some folks know how it really was."

The nationally-run marathon is scheduled to return to Savannah annually through 2015.