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