by Nikki Todd
ANYONE interested in attending next year's Commonwealth Games is urged to get in quick, with just 200,000 tickets remaining.
Visiting Kingscliff on Wednesday to address a conference of Mantra managers, Games chairman Peter Beattie said the people of northern New South Wales had fully embraced the Games.
"You see that in ticket sales,” Mr Beattie said.
"The border is there but people in Northern NSW don't care.
"They are in the best position - they can drive to a park and ride, park their car, get on a bus, go to a venue, go back and go home. Or they can stay on the Gold Coast, that's what we would love them to do.”
But Mr Beattie encouraged people to get in quick, with just 200,000 of the Games' 1.2 million tickets left - a far better position than organisers had anticipated.
"We have done better than expected,” he said.
"There are still some good tickets left. Now is the time to do it. Get on board. These are world class events, it doesn't matter if you like the sport or not, just be part of the Games, you will love it.”
Mr Beattie urged businesses to take advantage, with the event expected to inject $4 billion into the local economy.
"This is the biggest event in Australia really for 20 years and perhaps longer, I would urge everyone to get on side and take advantage of it,” he said.
"Because people who come from overseas or come from interstate will want to have a Games experience and another experience. If ever there was a time to promote northern NSW in conjunction with the Games, now is the time.”
Mantra chief executive officer Bob East, whose company operates the Mantra Hotel at Salt, one of the biggest accommodation providers in the Tweed, said rooms were still available during the Games.
"We are not full but we are absolutely looking very positive at this stage,” Mr East said.
"But people will need to start making their plans quite quickly.”
Mr East said the Tweed had been very supportive of the Games to date.
"We have genuinely noticed people of the Tweed understand the Common- wealth Games represents an opportunity for business in this area,” he said.
"The border is meaningless in terms of opportunity. The opportunity is geographic, it is right on our doorstep here ... (but) unless you capitalise on these things, unless you get proactive, the opportunities can pass you.”
COMM GAMES 2018
When: 4-15 April, 2018
What: 21 sports, 6600 athletes, 3500 photographers and journalists, broadcast to 1.5 billion people around the globe.
Tickets: Just 200,000 remaining. Visit www.gc2018.com/tickets#home