Crankworx organisers are over the moon after the Government announced it would invest up to $1.7 million in five years into the mountain biking festival and Enduro World Series.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges made the announcement today.The Government also invested $420,000 in the 2015 and 2016 Crankworx events.
Crankworx, the world's biggest mountain bike festival, will be held in Rotorua from March 25 to April 2. It has previously been hosted in Whistler, Canada, and the French Alps.
"Crankworx provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the Bay of Plenty as one of the best mountain biking venues in the world, attracting the world's best pro-athletes," Mr Bridges said.
"This event is expected to inject millions into the Rotorua economy and lead to wider economic benefits for New Zealand economy as a whole."
Crankworx event director Tak Mutu said the announcement was huge for the future success of the event.
"We produce one of the highest quality events in the world.
"It takes a lot of work to do it, from manpower to cash." Mr Mutu said.
"With the Government committing to five years it means we are able to focus on growing events and eyes on Rotorua."
Rotorua MP Todd McClay said it was an opportunity to promote New Zealand internationally and "tell more people what we do here".
"Mountain biking is highly beneficial to the Rotorua economy," he said.
"I'm excited the Government recognises the success of the event, which was a punt on the part of the Rotorua community.
"Nowhere else in the world does it as well as Rotorua. Credit has to be given to Tak and the mountain biking community."
Mr Bridges said the 2016 festival contributed about $8m to the Rotorua economy and 6.1m viewers watched the event on television and online.
Last year the event attracted 1300 international visitors and this year that number is expected to increase to around 1735, rising to more than 2000 by 2021.
"Continuing to invest in this event ensures it not only continues, but also provides new initiatives, including marketing the event in Australia, the United States and Canada and bringing new international visitors to New Zealand during the shoulder season," Mr Bridges said.
"It will also allow the trade and expo show to expand to a wider variety of products and businesses."
In December Rotorua Lakes Council announced it would provide $75,000 a year for Crankworx Rotorua for the next five years.
It will also act as underwriter to a maximum of $500,000 over the five years.
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