INTRODUCTION

Mountain biking is a growth sport – not only in New Zealand but across the world. By providing the benefit of cycling with the excitement of off-road single tracks, through both plantation and native forests, mountain biking is a bonus for tourism and recreation. Forestry companies that partner with local communities and provide access to their forestry landholding build positive relationships that also work to fulfill some of the requirements under FSC certification. A win-win for business and community.

$8k

feasability study awarded, to confirm the opportunities available in a track development

POTENTIAL

of Cougar Park better understood for the region

SIGNIFICANT

value-add confirmed for the region, in developing 60km of track

BACKGROUND

Cougar Mountain Bike Park is located very near the Tokoroa township. Tokoroa Mountain Bike Club holds a 25-year license to operate from Hancock Forest Management. Prior to a planned forest harvest the bike park offered some 40 km of excellent mountain biking terrain and track. In anticipation of this planned harvest, the Tokoroa Mountain Bike Club developed 14km of exciting single track on the periphery of the Park to meet the short-term needs while they considered the blank canvas opportunity to re-develop the replanted area. The Club hit the ground running installing 6 km of new tracks post-harvest but have plans to instate some 50 – 70 km of tracks in the harvested area.

This potential to re-develop this 90 hectares opened the doors for a feasibility study to ensure any development capitalized on its true value to the local community and economy. Tokoroa Mountain Bike Club applied to SWIFT for an $8k grant to commission the feasibility work using APR Consultants.
Tokoroa Mountain Bike Club already hosts and oversees a Day Night Thriller, in association with the TOK 100 and TOK 50, that attracts entries from across the district. Winter Night Rides and Wednesday after-school children’s riding are regular features on the events calendar. Both consistently attract a high level of participation with school age children queuing for the chance to ride and learn techniques.

Tokoroa falls within easy reach of other acclaimed mountain bike parks in Rotorua and Taupo consequently bringing into focus the opportunity to promote and leverage co-ordinated ‘golden triangle’ mountain biking events.

SUMMARY

Tokoroa Mountain Bike Club has been enabled, through a SWIFT grant, to understand the significant potential that Cougar Park has for the region and the community. As a strategic asset, the stages required to ensure it reaches its full economic potential is now professionally and credibly mapped out. This will support subsequent funding and investment initiatives.

RESULT

APR Consultants confirmed the benefit of investing in Courage Mountain Bike Park transforming the existing blank canvas into 60km of new track complete with a suitable signage and maintenance program, fit for purpose storage and club facility, new equipment and a well implemented promotional program. Using a series of base analysis assumptions APR estimated the potential economic impacts conservatory as at year ten as:
Total output $490.8k
Total value add $196.3k
6.1 Total FTE’s sustained or created per year.

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