St Helens is on track to be Derby 2.0.
Today the Break O’Day Council will advertise the tender for work on mountain bike trails, which will be a massive boost in terms of economy and jobs for the region.
The “Derby factor” is inspiring for smaller areas of our state.
Not too many years ago Derby was a sleepy area of Northern Tasmania.
Then the Blue Derby mountain bike trails in 2015 came along. The $3.1 million investment now brings in about $30 million to the economy annually.
More than 30,000 people come to Tasmania every year for Derby and its trails. A snapshot of the average visitor to Derby is four to five days on the trails and another five days exploring the island.
Then there is the marketing value attached to the trails.
Derby was host of the Enduro World Series back in 2017 and will do so again in March, 2019. This coverage is invaluable to promoting not only Derby, but all of Tasmania.
Now it could be St Helens’ turn.
The new mountain bike trails could either complement Derby or standalone.
Either way it will bring people to an area of Tasmania that is ready for some positive change.
For many years St Helens and that part of the East Coast has primarily either been a destination for the retired or summer holiday territory.
In September the town will also host the national music event One Night Stand hosted by radio station triple j. This event is expected to bring thousands of people to the small town. The concert will feature international music acts and entry is free.
Accommodation was sold out within 24 hours of the announcement that the concert would be held in St Helens.
It’s this willingness to try something new or embrace a challenge that will see towns continue to reinvent themselves.
The “Derby factor”, which we are seeing in St Helens, extends further than the town’s limits.
It can be felt across Northern Tasmania. The impact is not just through tourist dollar, but also inspiration to think outside the square. To not put ideas or innovation in the too-hard basket.
But instead to look at demand and ensure the product offered is first class. Then watch as the town reap what has been sown.