Businesses eye big spenders as athletes arrive for Masters Games

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Updated

October 19, 2017 17:25:53

Businesses in north-west Tasmania are preparing for a boom as thousands of mature-age athletes arrive for the 2017 Masters Games.

While the athletes have been busy training, regional businesses have been making their own preparations.

Devonport antique emporium owner John Cole has been on a buying spree, stocking up in anticipation of strong trading over the fortnight of the games.

“The last four or five months we’ve probably bought an extra $50,000 to $70,000 of stock in preparation,” he said.

“We think we’ll probably double our takings for the next 10 days.”

Mr Cole expects the games competitors will be cashed up and ready to spend.

“The demographics of those people are that they are older people, with disposable income.

“A lot of those people are travelling in groups without their partners, and our experience is when they’re doing that, they spend more money.”

Masters Games 2017 general manager Scott Wade agreed with that assessment.

He estimated the games would inject more than $12 million into the local economy.

“This is the largest event that has been ever held in the region.”

“Based on previous economic impact for an event like this I think $12 million is pretty conservative,” he said.

“I think the locals are starting to understand now.”

Physio suggested bowling to car crash victim

More than 5,000 people have registered to compete in the games and there will be in excess of 1,000 volunteers .

A total of 47 sports will be contested in 65 venues scattered around north and north west of Tasmania.

Hobart’s June Cashion and Shirleen Tubb will be among the competitors.

The long-time friends will pair up in the ten pin bowling event.

Ms Cashion, 78, has been bowling for 42 years.

“I had a car accident, I broke my neck and I was in all this plaster. When I came out of it, my physio suggested I do it.

“I thought that’s for hangouts and dropouts.”

“But it just took off from there” she said.

She has since represented her state in tournaments across the country, and even participated in the last Masters Games to be held in Tasmania in 1987.

“It’s so great to have the games back here in Tasmania,” she said.

Ms Tubb’s bowling career is only fledgling in comparison to her friend, having been competing for 10 years.

“I’ve seen places that I would never have seen had it not been for bowling, and now count friends in every state in Australia,” she said.

“That wouldn’t have happened without bowling”.

She believes the next generation can learn plenty from the Masters Games, which features athletes aged predominately 45 and over.

Bookings made a year in advance

Many accommodation providers in Devonport are already sold out during the games fortnight and visitors have found rooms in town and cities around the region.

Argosy Motor Inn manager Vanessa Abel said she received bookings from games competitors 12 months in advance.

“I’ve got a hockey team, volleyball team, netball team, I’ve got rowers, I’ve got about six teams staying,” she said.

“I’ve extra staff on for the meals, I’ve put extra house maids on, I’ve put on two ladies in the laundry.”

The Seven Sheds Brewery in Railton has relabelled one of its most popular beers to feature the Masters Games logo.

It hopes to lure competitors and their families and friends to the small town south of Devonport.

“Some of the events only cover one or two days, so people have got time to have a look around this area, come and sample some of the local produce,” co-owner Willie Simpson said.

“I’m hoping they’ll be in party mode, in spending mode.”

The Masters Games starts on Saturday with an opening ceremony in Devonport in the evening.

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First posted

October 19, 2017 15:42:30



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