Rotorua is gearing up for Crankworx 2018 as thousands of visitors prepare to descend on the city for a week of muddy, adrenaline-fuelled fun.

Event director Ariki Tibble said while the team was definitely in panic mode this time three or four years ago, it had some good heads around the table now.

"The panic is definitely down a few notches, the dual slalom course is just about finished, ticket sales and event registrations are tracking well.

"We've got a lot of exciting things that haven't been done before or are being done in a very different way."


This year's event, from March 17 to 25, will be spread across three venues, including a new course in the Tokorangi Forest.

Tibble said he expected more than 1500 international visitors in Rotorua for the event.

"Crankworx has been a big driver in our motivation to show Rotorua isn't the place it was 20 years ago, we do have a lot to offer.

"There's no better way to promote Rotorua than to use Crankworx as a massive marketing vehicle."

A guide on where and when the action is taking place will be available from next week, but Tibble said the important one to know was locals' day at Skyline on March 21 and 22.

"When you have a world-class event right on your doorstep, it's crazy not to take up the opportunity.

"Usually by the time it rolls around the groundwork has been done and we can go into delivery mode, which is the most fun part.

"It always exceeds our expectations and it's always a real buzz."


Destination Rotorua consumer marketing manager Tom Worsp said it was fantastic to see events such as Crankworx, Ocean Swim Series, Summer Seafood Festival, Mudtopia and Flochella coming to Rotorua.

"Having events like these not only attract domestic visitors from out of town but have a positive effect on the vibrancy and people's perception of the destination."

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said Crankworx brought economic benefits to Rotorua and built on the city's reputation as a mountain biking destination, contributing to the ongoing growth and success of that sector locally.

"It helps to cement our worldwide reputation as a visitor destination and improves perceptions of Rotorua – it's helping to make Rotorua 'cool' again and with its massive worldwide following, we gain maximum exposure and benefits that extend well beyond the duration of the festival itself."

She said successful events like Crankworx helped to add vibrancy to the community and that was "also important".

"The event has grown annually in size and popularity and we hope to see it continue to grow, develop and benefit our community.

"One of the wonderful things about Crankworx has been the fantastic community support and participation and we're also fortunate to have a very passionate local mountain biking community that ensures the local success of the festival and mountain biking in general. I'm looking forward to another successful event this year."

According to properties for the week of Crankworx were "going fast" and on Airbnb it was showing as a busy time.

Rotorua Association of Motels chairman Martin Althuizen said motels with room for storing bikes and wash down facilities were the most popular.

"I personally haven't had a noticeable increase and I didn't get a lot of Crankworx visitors last year.

"At this point that week is certainly not as full yet as Easter weekend."

He said Airbnb would have taken a lot of the traffic.

"It really is having a noticeable effect in the hotel industry and I'm picking even with Crankworx we won't be full."