The Squamish Test of Metal is not just good fun its also great business.
According to a survey of 2001 participants on their spending habits during the Squamish Mountain Bike Festival, the event makes a sizeable contribution to the local economy.
"This is a $1 million event," says Cliff Miller, Squamish Mountain Bike Festival director. "Weve always known that mountain biking and outdoor recreation is good for Squamish. Now we know theres a payoff to Squamish, the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada."
According to the survey, 78.5 per cent of race participants are day-trippers from the Lower Mainland, Squamish or Whistler. Only 21.5 per cent of participants travel further than a three-hour drive to get there.
About 22 per cent of racers stayed overnight, with more than half of those multi-night stays in Squamish.
Furthermore, those who stayed overnight said they had previously visited Squamish to pre-ride the course on one or more occasions.
There was a 60 per cent response rate from the 800 Test of Metal participants.
While the majority of competitors are day-trippers, there has been a significant increase in long-distance travellers to Squamish. According to Miller, "The long-term benefits from this event havent even been realized and we are now hosting one of the premiere mountain bike festivals in North America."
Test of Metal Inc. is a not-for-profit entity that operates the Squamish Mountain Bike Festival and Test of Metal. The organization supports grassroots racing and recreational riding, as well as responsible trail development through the Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association.
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