More than 14,000 people walked through the gates of Crankworx Rotorua in what organisers are calling the best year yet.

But local businesses owners have mixed reviews on how the event panned out for them.

There were 8000 general admission and VIP tickets sold and 3600 accredited tickets sold to this years mountain biking festival according to Crankworx Rotorua organiser Tak Mutu.

A further 2500 individual local passes were issued on the free local days and 470 volunteers also participated, Mutu said.


In his opinion, it had been "by far the best Crankworx Rotorua".

Rotorua Motel Association acting chairwoman and RotoVegas Motel manager Shelley Hobson-Powell said in general moteliers did not benefit from the event as they found most of the visitors stayed in Airbnbs or at Bookabach accommodation supplier properties.

However, she said there was a flow-on from that with those suppliers getting booked out, and other independent travellers who were looking for Airbnbs or Bookabach houses having to book motels.

"In general the moteliers have not benefited from Crankworx."

However, she said their motel had five houses on site that were all booked by Crankworx visitors because they were larger, but not all moteliers had that type of accommodation.

"They tend to prefer larger houses and it works out cheaper for them to stay in Bookabach type houses."

Oppies Fish and Chips and Chinese Takeaway owner Michael Huang said his business did really well out of Crankworx.

"We were busy for the whole week and got lots of visitors ... They came on their bikes and parked in the front. It is so good for Rotorua. Hopefully we have lots of things like that in Rotorua to help the local economy."

Crankworx riders get some air. Photo / Fraser Britton
Crankworx riders get some air. Photo / Fraser Britton

Brew Craft Beer pub manager Jonathan Maguire said it didn't feel as busy mid-week as in previous years but that changed at the weekend.

"I think with all the later finishes at Skyline, a lot of people were heading home afterwards. However, come Thursday night we started to see an influx of people around 9.30pm or 10pm for a late dinner."

Macguire said Saturday was a big night for Brew with Crankworx's Deep Summer Photo competition.

"It was awesome they decided to host it again on Eat Streat. Sunday night it felt like we were a bit of an after party for some of the workers and volunteers coming down to celebrate another successful year."

Factory Smokehouse and Grill owner Jason Monahan said he felt Crankworx was a "real positive" for Rotorua.

Capers Epicurean Cafe and Pig & Whistle owner Gregg Brown said both of his businesses had a busy week.

"I saw that all the forest car parks were full to over flowing. Crankworx is so good for Rotorua and we owe a huge thanks to all involved."

Linley Parry, who co-owns the three McDonald's Rotorua franchises with husband Rob, said Crankworx definitely added to their sales as well as overall visitor numbers to the city.

"There is always a great vibe to the city when Crankworx is here," she said.

Crankworx Rotorua Downhill winner Tracey Hannah on her Racerun.
Crankworx Rotorua Downhill winner Tracey Hannah on her Racerun.

Local woman Nicky Kenny said she and her husband decided to make the most of the free locals days and took their children, aged 3 and 5, on Wednesday and Thursday.

"We all loved it so much we took the opportunity of buying the locals rate pass for the weekend so ended up going five days in total.

"We obviously enjoyed watching the pros compete but it was also just fun to hang out and enjoy the atmosphere and our kids loved riding the tracks at Kidsworx. It was great to see a lot of other local families doing the same."

Zippy Central Bar & Cafe owner Morgan Wilson said this year was one of their busiest and having Bike Culture a few doors down was a "huge advantage".

Wilson said a combination of more competitors, more spectators and better weather worked in his favour.

However, Fix Cafe owner Yogi Bhati said it was slower than the last few years.

"Last year was really pumping, there was a lot of people around town ... the bikers and the people didn't come to town much which is kind of strange."

Starbucks manager Cathi Brown said the weekend staff were run off their feet at the weekend.

Brown said she drew up the roster based on how quiet it was previously during the event which left the store run off its feet compared to last year.

Rice Japanese Kitchen co-owner Yukari Iwasaki compared business in the week of Crankworx to the slower business months.

But a friend of hers was a stallholder at the event and had got in touch with her to find more staff because of how busy he was.

Iwasaki said she suspected people did not want to leave the event and come back into town just for lunch.

Mutu said it was fair to say not there would not be a direct benefit for all businesses, but there would be indirect benefits in the future.

"It's a very significant part of drawing attention to Rotorua," Mutu said.

The global event would "draw eyes of the world onto Rotorua, particularly those interested in the outdoors", he said.

From his perspective as a local business owner, Mutu said others should look at how to leverage from the event.

"We want this to be successful for everyone."

Mutu said they made an effort to draw people into the CBD with the free event Deep Summer held at Eat Streat on Saturday which packed out the venue.