Beds all booked for big events

Motels in Blenheim and Picton are almost completely booked out with people flooding into the region for a weekend of events.

The Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon, the New Zealand Ploughing Championships and comedian Billy Connolly were expected to draw thousands to the region with Connolly kicking off the eventful weekend tonight.

Marlborough Motel Association president Noel Noble, who also owns Aston Court Motel, said motels in the region were "pretty chocka", which was great for business.

"We are getting inquiries every day. We are just about full in Picton - there are a couple of rooms left but they will be gone before the weekend.

"There is nothing left in Blenheim in the Motel Association Group accommodation."

Despite the economic benefit, he hoped events could be more spread out in future.

"If we can space it out it's not just good for accommodation, it's better for the whole town.

"We have a few motels that are full and will remain full for the next two days then the next three to four months we will just be coasting along."

Marlborough District Council regional events strategy co-ordinator Susie Witehira said ultimately it was up to the organisers to decide when to hold their event.

"The clash of events is always really tricky [but] I think this has worked out fine with the ploughing champs and the Saint Clair Half Marathon being on at the same time."

"[Also] with Billy Connolly it has worked out really well."

Part of her job was to contact the organisers and make them aware of the clash in events, but it was their decision in the end, Witehira said.

"As long as everybody is aware of everything going on, we can always work through these sorts of things.

"I love that the town is busy and town is pumping."

She wanted to reassure people there was accommodation still available and urged people who were still looking to contact the Blenheim i-Site, Witehira said.

The lead up to the events had gone really well and everyone was prepared for the full-on weekend ahead, she said.

"Our fingers are crossed for fine weather."

She asked that people take care on the roads, especially when using Raupara Rd.

The Marlborough Express