Thousands of people are expected to roll into the city for this year's Crankworx mountain bike festival - with ticket sales up 15 per cent.
The week-long event provided a major economic boost to the city, pumping $22 million into the local economy over the past five years, and $4 million last year alone.
The event was set to take place across the city at both Skyline and in and around the forest.
Organiser Tak Mutu said this year was going to bigger and better than ever and that the team was really "taking it up a notch".
Ticket sales were up 15 per cent and thousands more people were expected than previous years, he said.
Many of the riders had already arrived in town to get involved in Saturday's Giant 2W Gravity Enduro event with accommodation providers already filling up, he said.
He had heard of one Airbnb that had been filled up with 14 Australian riders for more than 20 days, he said.
He said an accomplishment for this year's event was that the team had managed to lock down live TV coverage that would be streamed globally, putting both the event and the city on the "world stage".
Event director Ariki Tibble said the viewership had grown from strength to strength with international watchers up more than 13 million in five years.
He said the event had pumped $22 million into the local economy in the past five years, with $4 million last year alone.
With the extensive growth, Tibble said he expected more this year.
Deputy mayor and chair of the board of directors for Crankworx Dave Donaldson said although the event had brought tens of millions into the local economy, the real value came from "showcasing Rotorua as a destination".
The event put "our culture and natural assets" on display and benefited not just the city, but the whole country, he said.
So far, 15 per cent of tickets had been sold to international guests, which was great from a tourism perspective, he said.
A special event this year that ran alongside Crankworx was called Share the Ride, where children from lower socio-economic families were taken out riding in the forest with professionals for the day and then gifted the bike at the end.
"It's such a multilayered event... it's so valued by the community."
Rotorua Lakes Council had provided $75,000 in funding for the event and would be working in a facilitator role.
Council's operations group manager Jocelyn Mikaere said they would manage road closures, event communications, reserve hire and building consents for marquees and scaffolding.
Destination Rotorua chief executive Michelle Templer said Crankworx was a significant contributor to Rotorua's events economy.
She said it brought thousands of competitors, supporters and other audience members into Rotorua who stay and eat locally.
Their job was to leverage off the event to promote other attractions to the visitors that the city had to offer alongside Crankworx, she said.
The extensive broadcasting of the event meant the "beauty of the district" was shown to millions, she said.
Hospitality New Zealand Bay of Plenty regional manager Alan Sciascia said Crankworx had a significant effect on the city's local hospitality providers.
Like any large event, a large amount of visiting national and international guests was vital to the industry, he said.
Manager at Wylie Court Motor Lodge Taua Mclean said the event had brought an "influx" of guests to their accommodation and they were looking "chockablock" towards the end of next week.
He said there were still rooms available, but it was likely they would fill up.
Owner of Silver Fern Accommodation Allan Springer said his hotel was already booked out for the next few weeks as this time of year was "always busy" for the city.
This year's event would see new and upgraded courses, extensive coverage, more screens and a bustling expo.
Parking capacity had also increased this year to weather the growth, Tibble said.
A special part of Crankworx every year was how it allowed local amateur riders to "make their mark" in a global festival, Mutu said.
Local mountain biker Keegan Wright started out at Crankworx and was now signing professional contracts, he said.
Like every year, Wednesday and Thursday of the week would be locals days and people who showed proof of residency could go and experience the event for free.
"It's [the event] for Rotorua... we want the people to get enthused."
Tibble said the team was feeling "absolutely psyched" especially due to increased partnerships this year.
This year the event was showcasing live music from local artists and entertainment on two separate stages.
Crankworx took out the best sports event awards in the New Zealand Events Association awards last year.
What: Crankworx 2020
Where: Skyline, Redwoods and more
When: March 1 to 8
Cost: General admission - adult: $75 and child: $39
• Mountain Rd: Road closed from Clayton Rd intersection. Road open to residents and tour buses only.
Date: Sunday March 1 to Sunday March 8
Time: 7am to 7pm
• Barnard Rd: Controlled closure - open to residents and controlled parking
Please be aware this is a major event and some localised congestion of the surrounding roading network is expected around event start and finish times.