Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Southern 80 injects $36 million

This year's Southern 80 ski race has reaped an estimated $36.2 million for the district economy.

TRENT HORNEMAN April 24, 2014 4:07am

This year's Southern 80 has injected around $36 million into the economy

Despite days of blistering heat, this year’s Southern 80 has reaped an estimated $36.2 million for the district economy.
Campaspe Shire released the figures yesterday, estimating a crowd of about 50,000 in Echuca-Moama between February 7-9.
In 2012, the race injected $24 million into the region’s economy, with an estimated $38 million benefit in 2013.
The data is taken from a survey of 700 patrons, which Campaspe Shire staff completed during the weekend.
Of the 50,000 visitors, 82 per cent were from outside Campaspe and Murray shires and 87 per cent of non-locals stayed at least one night.
Visitors spent an average of 3.4 nights in Echuca-Moama, up from 2.8 nights last year.
Most (29.5 per cent) of the overnight visitors stayed in caravan or holiday parks, up 7 per cent on last year, while 24.8 per cent stayed in motels or self-contained units.
More than a quarter of visitors (27.2 per cent) camped along the river for free.
Visitors spent an average of $997 a day during their visit, with 85 per cent eating out, 49.4 per cent going shopping, 19.4 per cent sight-seeing and 17.1 per cent visiting district attractions.
All but 2 per cent of those surveyed said they would return to the event, while 98.4 per cent said they would recommend Echuca-Moama as a tourist destination to their friends.comEchuca-Moama to their friends and family separate to this event.
Moama Water Sports Club president Steve Robson said the data highlighted the importance of the Southern 80 in the region.
‘‘It is happy days. It brings money into town and continues economic growth,’’ he said.
‘‘We have been steadily growing in the past couple of years.’’
Mr Robson said the weather could have dampened this year’s figures.
‘‘I think the hot weather might have kept a few away this year,’’ he said.
Mr Robson said the committee had worked hard to improve the spectacle for visitors to the race’s finish line at Victoria Park.
He said the committee had started plans for next year’s event, which is the 50th running of the race.
Among some of the plans being considered is a parade of previous winning boats and a skipast of past champions.
‘‘We are still in the early stages, but we want to shine a spotlight on our past champions,’’ he said.
Campaspe Shire mayor Ian Maddison said the region owed much thanks to the volunteer organisers of the event, who worked tirelessly to put on a world-class event and he also acknowledged local residents, who had to live with increased traffic for the weekend.
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