There was never too much doubt the Hawke's Bay Winter Deco Weekend, set to kick off on Friday, was going to be a success but there were smiles and sighs of relief anyway at the Art Deco Trust yesterday as the event sales figures were tallied up.
"It has been a real success this year - people have been crying out for tickets," Art Deco Trust general manager Sally Jackson said.
"As an event organiser it really gives you confidence," she said of the sales figures, which show this year's mid-winter dip into Deco will be the most popular since the first was staged in 2003.
"It has certainly come a long way since then," Ms Jackson said.
More than 1100 tickets have been sold to the event with sales to visitors from outside of the region extremely strong.
Many bookings had come in from Australian, Canadian and United Kingdom Art Deco fans, along with strong numbers from one end of New Zealand to the other.
"Within New Zealand, the largest market is Auckland with over 10 per cent of ticket sales."
Most visitors were regulars at the summer Tremains Art Deco Festival and had now added the mid-winter event to their "must do" list.
Just three days out from the start of the weekend and about 90 per cent of tickets across the events board had been sold.
"There is a growing appetite for events at this time of year in the Hawke's Bay and this is why the Hawke's Bay Toyota Winter Deco Weekend keeps increasing in popularity," Ms Jackson said.
"Ticket sales, inquiries and general interest have exceeded all previous years - many events are sold out."
Festival director Glen Pickering said being new to the Art Deco Trust, it had been fantastic to arrive and know the events had been so well supported.
"We are fortunate to have both a summer and winter offering - they help us showcase Napier's unique heritage, the region's extraordinary features and attract people into the city, boosting the economy."
Ms Jackson said the continued support from the sponsors, partners and the community would ensure the events would continue to grow.
"We're thrilled to be able to develop our events and offer even more for locals and visitors to enjoy."
There are 18 events on the three-day schedule with The Winter Deco Welcome at the Masonic Hotel's Gatsby Room kicking things off on Friday.
The Gatsby Room will also be the venue for the Farewell Soiree on Sunday evening.