Kingscliff businesses call for triathlon change
KINGSCLIFF businesses are calling for the biannual triathlon to find another route after shop owners revealed they're losing money on event weekends.
In recent weeks a survey has circulated through the 49Kingscliff businesses directly impacted by the triathlon asking owners whether they want the race to stay, move or go.
Cinemax Cinemas owner Stephen Buge, who helped organise the survey, said only seven retailers wanted the race to stay, with the rest preferring it to move to another route.
"A lot of the retailers have been feeling it pretty tough,” Mr Buge said, calculating that during the triathlon weekends he'd lost $68,000 in revenue in the eight years the event had run.
"We don't want to lose (the triathlon) out of town but we want it somewhere that doesn't block off the town.”
News at Kingscliff owner Greg Jackwitz said his business also suffered on triathlon weekends.
"The triathlon doesn't generate any business for me, if anything it costs me a lot of money,” Mr Jackwitz said.
"All the locals know when it's on that they just don't go out and buy the paper. People won't come in because they know it's a total inconvenience for them for half the day.”
Mr Jackwitz said he wanted organisers to change the race route to free up the main business area.
"There are plenty of streets around the area they can go,” he said.
"Why should the businesses suffer because of one event?”
But Brothers Cafe owner Maryann Butson said while they didn't do much business during the event weekend, many race-goers returned to Kingscliff for holidays at other times.
"We get a lot of repeat business,” she said.
Race director Mike Crawley said the Kingscliff Triathlon organisers had always been open to suggestions about improving the race but had never directly heard from concerned businesses, despite advertising for community input three months out from each event.
"We never get replies from the shops, only the residents,” Mr Crawley said.
"We're completely open to working with anybody and everybody, but they've got to tell us. If someone can come up with a model that works and doesn't destroy the race I'd like to see it.
"We're asking for input for the design of the race, I don't know what else I can do.”
The next Kingscliff Triathlon is on Sunday, March 18.