Two-decade plan for Winter Games

Last updated 13:16 23/12/2013

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The Winter Games has the ability to become a global sporting calendar fixture but it will probably take two decades, a post-event report says.

In August, the games attracted 700 of the world's elite snow sport athletes from 41 nations and provided a major financial boost for the Southern Lakes and the New Zealand economy.

Long-term objectives for the games envisage an event that attracts six out of every 10 of the world's top ranked athletes by 2029, the report says.

The Winter Games NZ Trust recognised it will take up to 20 years for the event to be recognised on the global stage.

By then, the trust aims for the games to be recognised as New Zealand's premier sporting event, operate a financially successful model, assist New Zealand athletes to regularly win snow sport medals and lead the field in adaptive snowsports for disabled athletes.

Trust chairman Sir Eion Edgar said this year's event was subject to difficult snow conditions and adverse weather.

The report says access to the mountains could improve and "is seen as negative and it is clear that we can improve our onfield communication with athletes and management".

Competitor feedback also recommends shifting the games closer to spring, setting a dedicated weather announcement time for athletes, introducing cheaper lift passes for training and sharing events with Mt Hutt.

In 2012, the games hosted the first qualifying World Cup events for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, attracting 167 international athletes from 26 countries.

"The two World Cups helped the management team prepare for the 2013 games by testing new systems and processes. They also helped consolidate important relationships with international bodies."

A breakdown of finances showed gross revenue of $4.36 million and expenditure including $973,769 on management and administration, $764,563 on marketing and $292,805 on venues.

Economic data showed the athletes, their support teams and spectators generated a net national benefit of $7.8m and Winter Games NZ's own event spend in the Southern Lakes was $2.1m.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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