Chal­lenge grow­ing New Fe­bru­ary date bet­ter for busi­ness

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By CHE BAKER

Wanaka busi­nesses are prais­ing the eco­nomic ben­e­fits from Chal­lenge Wanaka and are wel­com­ing a change of date next year to boost busi­ness fur­ther. Lake Wanaka Tourism gen­eral man­ager James Hel­more said chances were the di­rect eco­nomic ben­e­fit of the event would be higher than the $6.3 mil­lion from 2012. This year a record num­ber of com­peti­tors, more than 2000, took part in the event. Mr Hel­more said that each ath­lete on av­er­age brought five sup­port­ers with them who stayed for five days. ‘‘It’s a great eco­nomic foot­print for cafes, restau­rants and petrol sta­tions,’’ he said. Those who trav­elled to sup­port ath­letes also took part in ac­tiv­i­ties on of­fer that those com­pet­ing might not be able too, he said. Or­gan­is­ers an­nounced they would be chang­ing the date of the triathlon to Fe­bru­ary 22, a month af­ter its tra­di­tional race weekend for the past eight years. Mr Hel­more, who com­pleted the 42.2 kilo­me­tre run as part of a team in the event, said the later date would mean there was more ac­com­mo­da­tion avail­able, which would al­low for the event to ex­pand. Race di­rec­tor Vic­to­ria Mur­rayOrr said the de­ci­sion was made af­ter con­sul­ta­tion with

Photo: GETTY IM­AGES

Big­ger chal­lenge: The eco­nomic ben­e­fit of visi­tors to Wanaka for Chal­lenge Wanaka is ex­pected to in­crease next year with a change of date.

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