LEADING Edge Electronics staffers Judith McAndrew and Ken McAndrew check out the Lotus racing car on display in their shop in M
LEADING Edge Electronics staffers Judith McAndrew and Ken McAndrew check out the Lotus racing car on display in their shop in M

Speed week cash boom

By Peter Caton

Tourism operators are predicting millions of dollars will be spent in Murwillumbah as fans flock into town for the annual Speed On Tweed motorsport festival.

With just three days to go before the flag falls for the first competitors, accommodation is rapidly being booked out with ''Vacancy'' signs around the Tweed coming down.

Many visitors plan extended stays in motels, van parks and holiday units in Murwillumbah and east to the Tweed Coast, with some choosing the new Outrigger Resort at Salt, south of Kingscliff.

And just about all other businesses, from petrol stations to fish-and chips shops, are moving into high gear.

Murwillumbah and District Business Chamber president Phil Youngblutt says the town is booming due to the extra life and money generated by the four-year-old festival of historic motor racing.

"It's really good for the economy," Mr Youngblutt said. "When this amount of people comes into the town, everybody wins."

Tweed and Coolangatta Tourism Inc general manager Terry Watson said accommodation in Murwillumbah was heavily booked and the organisation was taking bookings for operators such as Outrigger Resort at Salt.

Outrigger Resort general manager Gerd Beurich said 60 room nights had been booked out by Speed On Tweed fans, staying one, two or four nights.

He said the greatest challenge the new resort had was "promoting the destination" but festival volunteers were doing an amazing job creating "great exposure".

Festival organisers have also opened their own shopfront in Murwillumbah's main street - just a few metres west of the Daily News office.

The shop is selling a variety of souvenirs plus tickets to the main race precinct on Saturday and Sunday at the discount price of $10 each. Tickets at the gates on the days will be $15.



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