Taupō economy takes another whack with loss of second Ironman event


Hannah Wells winning Ironman 70.3 Taupō in 2020.

IRONMAN NZ/Supplied

Hannah Wells winning Ironman 70.3 Taupō in 2020.

Taupō’s losing millions amid a rapid flow of major sporting event cancellations due to Covid uncertainty.

Months after losing hosting rights for the 2022 Ironman 70.3 World Championship until 2024, which was set to bring $27 million to the district, organisers of Ironman 70.3 Taupō have announced the December 11 event will also been cancelled.

It comes less than a week after organisers of the Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge reluctantly postponed their 5,000 strong rider event until February 2022.

The cancellations are a major economic blow to the town which brings in more than $30 million annually from hosting such large scale events.

READ MORE:
* Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge postponed due to Covid uncertainly
* Taupō to host 2024 Ironman World Championship
* Covid uncertainty sees Ironman move 2022 event from Taupō to US

But organisers of the Ironman 70.3 Taupō say they’ve been left with no choice due to the current Covid-19 Delta outbreak and “the Government’s Protection Framework timeline creating uncertainty about the viability of events over the coming weeks.”

Taupō Mayor David Trewavas said having so many cancellations was “exhausting” and the town was feeling the pinch.

Taupō District Council Mayor David Trewavas is worried following the cancellation and postponement of several large events (file photo).

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Taupō District Council Mayor David Trewavas is worried following the cancellation and postponement of several large events (file photo).

“It’s just one disappointment after another,” he said

“I feel sorry for all the down stream businesses and even the volunteers who are missing the interaction with other people. It is another bloody pain in the ass really.

“This is what makes up our community, the event industry has made us a success over the years. We are the ‘Event Capital of New Zealand’, we are the originators of the half-marathons, Ironman and triathlon events and a lot of people have moved here to take advantage of all these events but they are now not able to participate.

“I do wonder about the mental health of business owners. I am just coming down the main street now and people have been venting to me but the secret is to just keep talking to people and keep up the contact with others.”

Ironman 70.3 Taupō race director Wayne Reardon said he shares the disappointment the Taupō community and event participants feel but thanked them for their continued support.

“It is with sadness both for our athletes and the community of Taupō that our only option is to cancel Ironman 70.3 Taupō,” he said.

Large scale sporting events bring millions of dollars into Taupō each year.

Taupo-Times

Large scale sporting events bring millions of dollars into Taupō each year.

“Support for Ironman 70.3 Taupō has been fantastic and while we are hugely disappointed this event can’t go ahead in 2021, it is great that our athletes will have another opportunity to race the beautiful course here in Taupō on March 5, 2022 with Nutri-Grain Ironman 70.3 New Zealand to be offered alongside a range of alternatives.”

Trewavas said he hopes the Government will allow more events to go ahead once vaccination targets are reached.

“It is going to come back and it is going to come back big time. Just hang in there,” he said.

Approximately 900 athletes were registered for Ironman 70.3 Taupō who will be able to defer their entry to next year’s event or transfer it to any other 70.3 event in the Oceania region.



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