Skyline Rotorua is thrilled with Prime Minister John Key’s announcement that the Government’s Tourism Growth Partnership (TGP) will contribute $225,000 funding for the development of a new mountain bike park on the slopes of Mt Ngongotaha.
Mr Key made the announcement in Auckland at TRENZ, the New Zealand Tourism Industry Association’s international annual tourism conference. TGP is a Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) initiative designed to help grow international tourism in New Zealand. It specifically funds projects that are not only commercially driven, but which also deliver wider economic benefits.
The Skyline Gravity Park will offer a year-round, gondola accessed bike park – the only trails accessible by gondola in the North Island. It will also be the only year-round, all-terrain mountain bike park in Australasia.
The park will provide trail options for all skill levels from beginners to advanced riders. Several mountain bike trails are planned, providing at least 12km in total. There will be dedicated gondola cabins designed to take up to four bikes and riders per trip giving initial capacity of 3000 downhill runs per day.
The park is scheduled to open in July. Skyline Rotorua will own and operate the site, working with commercial partners Multi Day Adventures who have helped project manage the development, and Empire of Dirt who are building and creating the tracks.
Skyline Rotorua general manager, Bruce Thomasen, says the funding grant is fantastic news, allowing Skyline and its partners to develop a world-class site.
“We are thrilled with the TGP funding announcement, as it allows us to develop a significant and extensive mountain bike park that is world-class, continuing the development of the Skyline Rotorua site to the highest possible standards.
“The ability to potentially host world-class mountain biking competitions, as well as appealing to all levels of riders – from leisure to adrenalin junkies – complements Rotorua’s status as a top location for these types of events and its international reputation as a premier mountain biking destination.”
Mr Thomasen says the new mountain bike park enables Skyline Rotorua to offer even more to visitors and makes the most of its unique location.
“Our position atop Mt Ngongotaha gives us a unique set of opportunities and the Skyline Gravity Park is part of realising that. The site gives itself to mountain biking perfectly, with riders able to ascend in the gondolas and then speed their way back down on a number of trails.
“The mountain has previously hosted the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in 2006, as well astwo successful Rotorua Bike Festival Skyline Sprint Warrior downhill races, and the response we have had from riders and the mountain biking community has been fantastic. It is an exciting possibility to add to the list of international events hosted onsite.”
The park will offer half day passes through to a full year pass for unlimited gondola and downhill mountain bike trail access during opening times.