Cooly rocks in $18 million
EIGHTEEN million dollars in tourist spending stimu- lated by the Cooly Rocks On Festival has its stakeholders optimistic about the 2012 event.
An interim-impact report found about $13 million in the southern Gold Coast, $3 million in the Tweed Shire and up to $2 million in the rest of the Gold Coast had been spent during the festival.
Rocks On president Steve Archdeacon said the figures “really blaze the way forward” for the festival’s future.
“We always wanted to be very transparent, so everyone had a good look at where the money was spent, and where the
people came from,” Mr Archdeacon said.
“From a focus group of 200 people, and 500 on the internet, we found 10% came from 600 ks away or more, which is fascinating.”
Destination Tweed CEO Phil Villiers said crowds had “voted with their feet” by choosing the Rocks On over Wintersun.
Mr Villiers said the aim of the post-event debrief, which the Daily News attended at the Coolangatta Hotel on Tuesday night, was “to act on things to improve on”.
“Wintersun was said to have a $25 million impact, which was never substantiated, so if the figures coming out of the Cooly Rocks On are the case – it’s a good outcome,” Mr Villiers said.
“We had a board meeting before the debrief and found nothing glaringly wrong.
“Feedback from Tweed clubs and accommodation providers is that they’re very happy.”
Operations manager Bob Newman said his whole team could take credit for the positive feedback.
“Everyone can stand up and be proud of this one; I just steered the ship,” Mr Newman said.
“There was nothing surprising at that meeting and, yes, we can improve, but out of the interest groups I spoke to 98% were really, really happy.
“The interim report said $18 million.
"I’m not the expert, but it’s very good when you take into consideration the weather and the fact it was its first year. Year two’s going to be huge.”
Two key goals for Connecting Southern Gold Coast general manager Jim Wilson were to maintain the event’s focus on bene- fiting local business and turn it into an internationally famous festival.
“The treasurer announced a small profit, so the festival’s well positioned to head onwards and upwards,” Mr Wilson said.
“I’ve never been so pleased with anything we’ve been involved with and I’m very proud of our community.
“We’ve already budgeted $25,000 for next year, but we’ll leave the naming-rights sponsorship open for someone else.
“The local traders have to own this festival.”
Division 14 councillor Chris Robbins said she was impressed with the Rocks On committee’s effort.
“Imagine if, after Wintersun pulled out, this festival hadn’t come along – we would have been $13 million worse off,” Cr Robbins said.
“With that many people having a good time, the economic benefit has to be huge.”