Crankworx organisers have not ruled out Centennial Park as one of about seven sites being considered for a proposed $30,000 mountain bike course.
Crankworx Rotorua event director Ariki Tibble said a number of locations around Rotorua had been suggested to the Crankworx team and each were being assessed before any decision would be made.
Once a decision has been made and the track completed by internationally renowned trail builders Empire of Dirt, the proposed world-class dual slalom mountain biking course will become a permanent asset for the Rotorua community.
A suggestion Centennial Park would be a great site for the track has raised the ire of some members of the community. But the anger has come on the back of misinformation, according to Tibble.
"There has been a bit of a backlash regarding Centennial Park but I believe many of the people objecting think we plan to cut a track through the middle of the memorial trees.
"This is absolutely not the case. I'd probably be the first person objecting if it were."
Tibble said a track had been established at Centennial Park years ago but was now overgrown and unusable.
"What we are proposing, if the park site does work out, is no bigger than what had previously existed there," Tibble said.
He said each of the six or seven locations being considered by the Crankworx team had their own merits and disadvantages.
"Some have traffic issues, others have gradient issues, there are consent issues – but we are actively looking at all of them.
"We are also taking on board opinions that have been expressed in regard to the different sites."
A lively debate has played out on the Rotorua District Ratepayers and Residents Facebook page where many ratepayers have posted their concerns about constructing a mountain bike track near an area of reflection.
One person posted the idea was "so crazy as to be inconceivable".
"How on earth could a dual slalom mountain bike track [which implies high speed racing] share any sort of space with [through] the Tree Trust."
Another said her family had a kowhai tree at the trust in memory of her grandparents and she would be appalled if she were visiting and mountain bikes came hurtling down beside her. "How disrespectful and insensitive. If this goes ahead I'll be disgusted."
Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers Association chairwoman Glenys Searancke said the Facebook posts reflected the view of many Rotorua residents.
"They [residents] have some real concerns about a track being built anywhere near the Tree Trust. The area is a peaceful, beautiful place to walk and we would like it to remain that way," Searancke said.
"I'm not opposed to such a track but I do have concerns about one at Centennial Park."
Searancke said she was aware a track had earlier existed at the site.
"I remember it well as I used to walk my dog through there. It was never full of people – it was more like people went riding there if they felt like it."
She said it was more of a family-orientated track and not like anything at the level of Crankworx.
"We are sympathetic to Crankworx organisers but believe there must be a better place to build a new track. One that perhaps wouldn't bring them as much controversy."