Rush is on for rally tickets

SALES for the Tweed-based World Rally Championships have already exceeded organisers' expectations a week after tickets were released.

Due to high demand, organisers Repco Rally Australia have added a new spectator viewing point on Reserve Creek Road at Round Mountain to provide for several hundred people at the Castrol Edge East Special Stage when the rally hits the Tweed from September 3 to 6.

Repco Australia chairman Alan Evans said the strong sales prove the rally will be a credit to the Tweed and Australia.

“Ticket sales are ahead of our early expectations and continuing strongly every day,” Mr Evans said.

“As soon as it became clear that one of our spots on Friday would fill quickly we created an additional area on Castrol Edge East. We will provide shuttle buses to take spectators in and out.”

Accommodation outlets around the Tweed are also experiencing a rush of bookings for the week surrounding the event.

The Stella Group's four Tweed locations - Mantra on Salt Beach, Peppers Salt Resort and Spa, Peppers Bale Salt and BreakFree Paradiso at Kingscliff - have reported full bookings at most of their locations.

Stella regional sales and marketing manager Scott O'Neile said the majority of rally officials, sponsors, fac- tory teams and media will be staying in a Stella hotel.

“The Kingscliff and Mantra properties are totally sold out and Peppers and Peppers Bale are around 70 per cent booked,” Mr O'Neile said.

Rally organisers have also booked up all function spaces, including the ballroom at Mantra on Salt Beach which will serve as the media centre.

Smaller accommodation providers are also reaping the benefits. Kingscliff Seaside Guesthouse said their luxury suites are fully booked for the event by one of the international teams.

Teams from the Classic Outback Trial, which will run alongside the world rally, will also host a function for 150 people in the Tweed Ultima Conference room on the Saturday night.

The Australian Tarmac Challenge has organised a 200-person function at Signatures Restaurant in Outrigger Twin Towns Resort.

Tweed Tourism general manager Phil Villiers said it has been a fantastic result de- spite some concerns by residents of the Tweed.

“We are very mindful that people living in the region have differing views on the event, but now that it's a reality we should be doing everything we can to ensure that we get the maximum economic benefit and take full advantage of the worldwide marketing opportunity it offers our region,” Mr Villiers said yesterday.

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