Events at­tract thou­sands to re­gion

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - AL WIL­LIAMS

Hospi­tal­ity busi­nesses in­un­dated with cus­tomers dur­ing what was a bumper week­end with mul­ti­ple events across the re­gion, had to bring in ex­tra staff to cope with de­mand.

The 40th South Is­land Col­gate Games at Ao­rangi Park, the New Zealand Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onship at Lev­els Race­way, the Tour of Ti­maru speed skate event, an ocean swim and lily show all com­bined to make for a bustling three days of busi­ness and sport­ing en­ter­tain­ment.

Event or­gan­is­ers re­ported three suc­cess­ful days, while those in the hospi­tal­ity sec­tor re­ported a par­tic­u­larly busy week­end with some bring­ing in ex­tra staff to ease pres­sure.

South Is­land Col­gate Games spokes­woman Anita Suther­land said about 1000 am­bi­tious youngsters aged be­tween 7 and 14 had com­peted in that event alone. Most of those were ac­com­pa­nied by fam­ily mem­bers, coaches and sup­port­ers.

There were some ex­cep­tional per­for­mances over the week­end and the ma­jor­ity were happy with the event, Suther­land said.

The cream of New Zealand’s mo­tor­cy­cle road rac­ing tal­ent took to the track at Lev­els Race­way for round two of the 2018 New Zealand Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onships.

Mo­tor­cy­cling New Zealand gen­eral man­ager Vir­ginia Hen­der­son said more than 170 riders, plus their crews, fam­i­lies and sup­port­ers de­scended on Ti­maru, fill­ing ho­tel beds, restau­rant ta­bles and bar stools across town.

The event had been a great suc­cess, she said, adding a vote of thanks to the South Can­ter­bury Mo­tor­cy­cle Club and vol­un­teers and of­fi­cials who hosted the rac­ing.

Renowned mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ing com­men­ta­tor Neil Ritchie said he was ex­cited to see rac­ing in Ti­maru af­ter an ab­sence of two years.

‘‘This is one of the coun­try’s top rac­ing fa­cil­i­ties and it’s an hon­our to have the cham­pi­onship back here at Lev­els,’’ Ritchie said.

Tour of Ti­maru speed skate event spokesman Bill Begg said about 70 com­peti­tors took part in that event.

‘‘Hun­dreds of peo­ple viewed the event, which at­tracted com­peti­tors from Whanganui to Dunedin, with many hav­ing to stay as far away as Geral­dine to find ac­com­mo­da­tion over a busy sport­ing week­end,’’ Begg said.

The event en­com­passed rac­ing at nu­mer­ous locations around Ti­maru, Begg said.

‘‘Af­ter a Fri­day evening start, Satur­day till 2pm was a washout, but with some very tightly sched­uled events and hard work­ing of­fi­cials, along with tired skaters, seven stages were held on Satur­day.’’

Hospi­tal­ity As­so­ci­a­tion South Can­ter­bury ac­com­mo­da­tion sec­tor chair­man and Av­enue Mo­tor Lodge owner Mark Of­fen said the wider hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try had ben­e­fited from the events com­ing to town.

Of­fen said the num­berst had put pres­sure on some es­tab­lish­ments.

He said most mo­tels in Ti­maru, if not full, would have been near ca­pac­ity.

His mo­tel was com­pletely booked out for Satur­day, with just one unit avail­able on Thurs­day and Fri­day.

Of­fen said book­ings were up on the same pe­riod last year and ex­tra staff had been brought in to as­sist with house­keep­ing du­ties.

At the Bay­hill Brewery Bar, owner Melinda Hold­ing said the week­end had been very busy with nu­mer­ous vis­i­tors from out of town.

Next door at Fusion, owner Lind­say Ben­nett said it had been a ‘‘bril­liant’’ week­end de­spite rain.

At Cof­fee Cul­ture, on Stafford St, su­per­vi­sor Natalie Blan­chard said busi­ness ramped up on Satur­day af­ter­noon with a mix­ture of fam­i­lies and sin­gles din­ing.

There were more chil­dren in the cafe than a usual Satur­day, which she at­trib­uted to the Col­gate Games.

At the Old Bank, owner Bob Ma­son said busi­ness was up on the same pe­riod last year while Bul­lock Restau­rant and Bar man­ager Ro­nan Kelly re­ported a good week­end of busi­ness.

At The Ox­ford, owner Clarissa Do­ran said hav­ing the events had been great for Ti­maru.

‘‘The whole week­end has been very busy.’’

At the Aspen on King, on King St, man­ager Karen Wright said the mo­tel had been fully booked over the week­end.

‘‘If we had more rooms we could have filled them.’’

There were 30 rooms with a max­i­mum stay of 80, Wright said.


About 1000 young ath­letes from across the South Is­land com­peted in the Col­gate Games in Ti­maru over the week­end. Pic­tured are com­peti­tors in the com­bined walk­ing race.


Avalon Bid­dle, of Orewa, leads on a Kawasaki ZX6R in the Su­per­sport 600 at Lev­els Race­way.

Bill Begg

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