Local councils, businesses in Commonwealth Games gold rush

BUSINESSES and councils across the Northern Rivers are already moving to cash in on the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

In an exclusive business confidence poll conducted by Griffith University for The Northern Star, 96% of business owners surveyed said they expected financial windfall from the 2018 Games being held so close to the region.

Plus 92% of business owners said the Northern Rivers should be promoted as a region to try and capitalise on the games.

With three years and eight months till the games start on April 4, Lismore City Council, Ballina council and Byron Council are on the front foot to reap the economic benefits.

Together, Lismore and Ballina councils have mailed out a promotional brochure to team coaches and promoters in an attempt to lure them to the region for pre-games preparation.

"We have created a brochure in consultation with Ballina Shire Council that details all our accommodation, transport, location and sporting facilities and services to

attract teams and individuals to the Northern Rivers for pre-training camps," Lismore City Council tourism and events manager Mitch Lowe said.

"Closer to the Games, we will work with other participating destinations within the Northern Rivers to develop a joint marketing campaign aimed at encouraging spectators to the Commonwealth Games to enjoy some time in the Northern Rivers region."

"Any influx of tourists provides an economic benefit to the city and many businesses will actually provide services in the organising of the Games, such as building services, linen and a variety of goods."

Byron Shire Council's economic development and tourism officer Jane Laverty said Byron Shire was likely to see significant benefits from visitors during the Games.

Ms Laverty said the council had put in an expression of interest as a pre-games destination for athletes preparation.

"We have been working with other councils in the region to qualify the sporting infrastructure and other support infrastructure that would allow us to productively and proactively provide for international teams," she said,

"Obviously assets such as the Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Centre are included in this along with our industry partners in accommodation, gyms, health services and catering to name a few."

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