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Hawke’s Bay Trails opening a boost to region’s economy

23 February 2012

Hawke’s Bay Trails opening a boost to region’s economy

The world-class Hawke’s Bay Trails is celebrating its official opening this weekend, a major milestone for what is fast becoming a major tourist attraction for the region.

The 187-kilometre cycling and walking trails will be officially opened this Saturday, the result of a significant investment that is already paying economic dividends. The trails are a joint initiative between the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) and Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail.

The trails will be launched with a family friendly bike ride from Pettigrew Green Arena in Taradale to Puketapu Domain, where there will be a free barbecue, bouncy castle, official launch and prizes for the best decorated bikes and riders.

HBRC Chairman Fenton Wilson says it is pleasing to see the positive economic impact from the organisation’s investment into Hawke’s Bay Trails.

“Not only are local bike shops and bike hire businesses booming, we’re also seeing a flow-on effect to wineries, cafes and accommodation providers and Hawke’s Bay Trails are fast becoming a major tourist attraction for the region,” says Mr Wilson.

“We have seen new jobs created during trail construction, as well as extra jobs in bike hire companies and cafes.”

New Zealand Cycle Trail Programme Manager John Dunn says the Hawke’s Bay Trails is one of 18 Great Rides being built around the country.

“The speed of trail construction in Hawke’s Bay is second to none, and the quality of the finished product is fantastic. The Water Ride section, in particular, is a smooth and picturesque journey perfect for families.

“It’s great to see the overwhelming community spirit behind this project and the benefits the trails are making to the local economies,” says Mr Dunn.

Napier company Fishbike Hire opened for business 16 months ago, right next to the trail. In the last 12 months sales have doubled and the business has grown its bike fleet by 50 percent to meet demand. Owner Brian Fisher is expecting next summer to be even busier.

Mr Wilson says the success of the trails is down to a number of factors, including the high quality of the trails and the ease of riding.

“The scenery is simply stunning and there are lots of interesting places to visit along each trail including cafes, wineries and shops. The rides can also be as long as a week or as short as an hour so there’s plenty of options to suit everyone.”

The $5.5 million Hawkes Bay Trails are jointly-funded by HBRC and The New Zealand Cycle Trail, working with Napier and Hastings councils, Rotary clubs, community trusts, corporates and private individuals. Many sections of the Hawke’s Bay Trails are open, including the 96 -kilometre Water Ride. Some sections are still under construction, with temporary on-road alternative routes in place.

Event Details

The Hawke’s Bay Trails’ official opening starts at 9.45am at Pettigrew Green Arena with an eight-kilometre bike ride along the trail to Puketapu Domain. At the Domain there will be the official launch, free barbecue, bouncy castle, flying fox and some great prizes.

Those taking part are being encouraged to “pimp their bikes” (and themselves) and be in to win prizes, including two cruiser bikes, perfect for discovering Hawke’s Bay Trails. The theme for the day is “Trail Blazer” and the first 200 children at the start of the ride will get “Trail Blazer “chopper flags fixed to their bikes.

For more information visit: www.hbrc.govt.nz/GetIntoIt/Recreation/BecomeaTrailBlazer/tabid/1229/Default.aspx or www.nzcycletrail.com/hawkes-bay-trails.

ENDS

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