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Mountain bike events boost Rotorua's economy

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Patrik Corbett in store at NZO Ride Central.

Crankworx is luring more visitors to Rotorua and not just during the event weeks, says local bike shop owner Craig Corbett.

“We get a lot of tourists coming through, both domestic and international tourists who have come to visit Crankworx and they come looking for either service or goods so it’s very positive for us,” he says.

“It’s not necessarily always during Crankworx either. They come here at some stage because they’ve watched Crankworx online and they think ‘I’ve got to go there and check it out’. So I’m getting people from New Caledonia, the Philippines and South America who are coming here because they’ve seen the Enduro World Series at Crankworx.

“Crankworx has really raised the awareness in the local community and for that global mountain biking community, it’s really put us on the map,” Craig says.

Outside of Crankworx mountain bike events dominate the Rotorua events calendar. There’s everything from the annual Moonride and the 2W Gravity Enduro series four times a year to national cross country and downhill races in Whakarewarewa forest.

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) major events have the potential to increase tourism revenue, create new business and trade opportunities and long term outcomes include a high value economy and vibrant communities and culture.

In 2013 Rotorua Lakes Council saw an opportunity to set a vision for the next two decades and that included a strategy to improve the contribution of the sport and recreation industry and the benefit it has to Rotorua’s economy.

Events such as Crankworx are a trigger that gives people a reason to visit Rotorua, Craig says.

“Rotorua is a great place to come for a long weekend to enjoy all that it has got and the events often give people a reason to come here.

“We’ve got great facilities and a lot of infrastructure already here. We give people a reason to visit and it works really well."

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