New Cycling, Walking Trails Great For Business

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Thu 5/Jun/14 1:08pm

Twelve new businesses have opened and 18 expanded in the past two years in the tyre tracks of the Clutha Gold and Roxburgh Gorge cycle and walking trails.

Those figures were presented to the Central Otago District Council yesterday by the Clutha Gold trail trust, in support of its submission to the draft annual plan.

The trust supported the council's suggestion $100,000 be set aside annually for repairs and maintenance of cycleways and tracks in the Central Otago district.

The two trails which opened last October, the Clutha Gold (Roxburgh Dam to Lawrence) and the Roxburgh Gorge (Alexandra to Lake Roxburgh ) have set up a company to handle marketing, promotion and generate income for maintenance.

Clutha Gold chairman and director of the new company, Central Otago Clutha Trails Ltd, Rod Peirce, said a survey done by the trusts last week showed during the last two years of trail development, 12 new businesses opened, 18 expanded and there were five potential new business investments.

Clutha Gold trustee and treasurer Graham Dillon said the trails were supporting an ''ailing'' community which had a declining population.

The amount needed for maintenance was an unknown quantity and it would be a shame if the project '' tipped over'' and the community lost the benefits, if the trusts could not generate enough income to keep the trails up to a high standard.

A voluntary maintenance contribution is sought from walkers and cyclists using the trails.

Mr Dillon said the trusts were trying to make their tracks user-pays.

The council resolved to set up a contestable fund of $100,000 annually for maintenance of district cycle trails.

That included the $33,560 spent annually on the Millennium Track between Alexandra and Clyde, now funded by the Vincent Community Board, and the $7500 annual maintenance on the Horseshoe Bend track at Craig Flat, now funded by the Teviot Valley Community Board and the Teviot Valley Walkways Committee.

Source: Otago Daily Times
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