Crankworx organisers are "full noise" ahead of the first racing event tomorrow.

Riders will be welcomed at the public opening ceremony at Eat Street tonight, and from 8am tomorrow the first competitors will start pedalling through Whakarewarewa Forest in the Giant Toa Enduro race presented by CamelBak.

Empire of Dirt employee Justin 'Boy Wonder' Russell trials one of the tracks. Photo/Stephen Parker
Empire of Dirt employee Justin 'Boy Wonder' Russell trials one of the tracks. Photo/Stephen Parker

Event director Tak Mutu said they were in "last minute preparation mode" on Friday, checking tracks, and setting up marquees and stands at Waipa and Skyline Rotorua.

"We are looking forward to being bigger and better than we have ever been. We have sold more tickets pre-event than we ever have.

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"At two weeks out, we had sold three times as many tickets as we had at that time in previous years."

Saturday's Giant Toa Enduro race offers a total of $5500 in prizemoney.

Mutu said it's one of three events with sold-out entries so far, alongside two of the Kidsworx events.

Empire of Dirt employee Justin 'Boy Wonder' Russell completes final testing of Crankworx jumps. Photo/Stephen Parker
Empire of Dirt employee Justin 'Boy Wonder' Russell completes final testing of Crankworx jumps. Photo/Stephen Parker

In town, Rotorua Cycle Centre owner Glendyr Casey said her store had seen a lot more customers from out of town ahead of Crankworx Rotorua's nine-day schedule.

"Yesterday we had a gentleman in from London, who had come to volunteer at the event. A lot of people come here for the event and then travel all over the country."

Nzo Active MTB Gear store manager Patrik Corbett said there was a great atmosphere in Rotorua this week with "all the pros in town".

"Business is definitely busier. When the Enduro World Series event is here every second year it is manic but it is not an EWS year this year so we are just nice and busy."

He said during Crankworx in past years, the store saw more business from tourists than mountain bike enthusiasts living in Rotorua.

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"There are a large number of riders worldwide that time Crankworx with their riding holiday. They use it as an excuse to come here."

Meanwhile, Rotorua branch president of the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, Sharon Wallace, expected bars and restaurants to be "very busy" during the event schedule.

"Town will be buzzing. It is getting bigger every year. After speaking to bars and restaurants I expect a lot will be full to capacity."

She said the industry was "so looking forward to it" and would go out of its way to ensure people had a good time.

"It is an amazing event, a real biggie for Rotorua."

Lava Bar manager Vanessa Martin said the bar was holding a special party on March 23 called "Crank It Up".

She said they were putting on special pizza deals during the event, and had even made a new burger, the "Crankburger" for the event, with a "huge" meat patty, salad and hot sauce.

"I thought Crankworx was just a bike race until I looked at the pictures and was amazed. There are people upside down in the air doing things that would give me heart palpitations.

"It is really great. We need more sports event and spectator friendly events like this in Rotorua."