'Sport part of economic future'
A SPORTS led business recovery could be an important part of Gympie’s economic and social future, Mayor Ron Dyne said yesterday.
Cr Dyne was commenting on the flow-on effects of a huge weekend of Rugby League and horse racing, which drew thousands of athletes, punters and their supporters to the region.
Football teams and their supporters began booking into motels as early as Wednesday and Thursday, with visitor numbers continuing to grow on Saturday.
Gympie Turf Club president Spencer Slatter said the race day crowds were still substantial despite record numbers at the weekend League carnival.
And if he was happy, Gympie-Cooloola Rugby League president Scott Dodt was delighted, as were the liquor, food and accommodation providers of the Gympie CBD, who did big business on Friday and Saturday nights.
“We had 1500 paying patrons through the gate,” Mr Dodt said yesterday.
“We thought we’d like to have between 1000 and 2000 and that’s what we got. It was terrific,” he said.
The big footie games, including Women’s State of Origin, the Queensland Cup between Brisbane City and Queensland Country sides and major top-of-the table rep games, the event was enthusiastically received by the ABC and the Queensland Rugby League.
“We also had a lot of help from the council,” Mr Dodt said.