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Crankworx numbers show success

Premier bike fest draws close to quarter million

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By Andrew Mitchell

The Crankworx Freeride Mountain Bike Festival celebrated its third year this past July, with dozens of events and activities ranging from national cross country and downhill races to pro slopestyle, bikercross and downhill events.

In that short time it has become one of the premier bike festivals in North America, and according to surveys conducted by Tourism Whistler, it has become a strong draw for the resort.

According to the survey, there were 216,000 people in the resort for the duration of the festival for an average of 24,000 visitors per day.

Room nights booked from July 22 to 30 were up 32 per cent compared to the same period the previous year.

Whistler Mountain Bike Park visits were 12,500, or 1,400 per day. It was one of the busiest weeks for the park all summer.

The average stay of visitors was 6.6 nights, with 61 per cent of visitors surveyed using paid accommodation during the festival.

The Kokanee Slopestyle, the signature event of the festival, attracted an estimated crowd of 15,000, almost triple crowd at the first event in 2004.

Based on the surveys, Crankworx generated approximately 19,250 incremental visitors to the resort, and 61 per cent of the 669 people surveyed are actively involved in mountain biking. Furthermore, 75 per cent of those mountain bikers said they prefer moderate to advanced level trails.

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