Rotorua will be home to Crankworx through to 2027, with the signing of a new 10-year contract to host the world-class mountain biking event.
The Crankworx World Tour travels to the world's top mountain biking destinations, including Rotorua, Les Gets in France and Innsbruck, Austria, before returning to its Canadian base of Whistler, British Colombia, each year.
With the signing of this 10-year contract, event director Tak Mutu said Rotorua had secured its status as the first stop on the tour for the next decade.
He said it was a game changer for the New Zealand festival, which generated more than $8 million for the Rotorua economy in the 2016 event week, according to an APR consultants economic benefit report.
"More so than any other cycling event in the world, Crankworx opens a world of possibilities that go far beyond the riding.
"Knowing that we can plan 10 years ahead allows us to unlock our creative minds and keep the Crankworx festivals on the cutting-edge of mountain bike events - it can be about more than just the competition."
Crankworx Rotorua is coming into its third year and will host an extended programme of events for 2017, running nine days from March 25 to April 2-a full four days longer than in its first two years.
The growth was to be expected, according to Crankworx Events Incorporated general manager Darren Kinnaird, who said the passion for mountain biking in Rotorua really made the festival.
"Crankworx Rotorua has become the unofficial launch to the mountain bike season. It's the start of the year for athletes, the industry and mountain biking fans," said Mr Kinnaird.
Rotorua Lakes Council deputy mayor Dave Donaldson, who chairs Mountain Bike Events and signed the extended deal yesterday, said a 10-year contract to run the event outside of its home in Whistler, Canada, was unprecedented.
"Rotorua has really adopted this event and our aim has always been to work towards a longer-term deal to make this the home of Crankworx in New Zealand. The first two years have shown its huge potential," Mr Donaldson said.
"It's been a big hit here - largely due to the passion of a fantastic group of people who have run with it and poured all their efforts into ensuring its success, giving Crankworx Events Incorporated confidence in Rotorua as a host venue."
Mayor Steve Chadwick said it was fantastic news for Rotorua.
"We've offered something unique here which has been recognised. I'm thrilled we'll be hosts for another 10 years for an event which has really captured our local community - bikers and non-bikers - as well as visitors from around the world. Congratulations to everyone involved."
Crankworx Rotorua facts and figures
- source APR consultants Economic Benefit Report and Crankworx Rotorua Event Report
•$8 million economic benefit 2016, up from $3.7m in 2015
•Average stay for visitors who came to Rotorua for the event - 9.6 nights
•234 volunteers (95% of them local)
•148 media (79 of them international)
•Total Viewership Audience of 6.1 million during festival, increasing by several million since through repeats
•Media value of $7 million from live production
Crankworx Rotorua background:
Crankworx Rotorua is run in conjunction with its Canadian owners Crankworx Events, the local festival organiser and a not-for-profit company Mountain Bike Events, which is a joint venture between Rotorua Lakes Council, Skyline Rotorua and event organiser Tak Mutu. The company's objective is to promote, facilitate and invest in major mountain bike events in Rotorua and the council invested in the 2015-17 events by providing an underwrite.