Creswick tourism stronger than ever, say businesses

CRESWICK business owners are reaping the benefits of extra visitors over the weekend thanks to the Inter-regional Tennis Championships.

More than 1000 tourists were estimated to visit for the three-day tournament, with many spending up to five nights in town.

Tournament director Andrew Reynolds said the event was a great boost to the township of Creswick.

"It's fantastic for Creswick, we have an estimated $1-1.5 million economy boost to the region," he said.

"There are people here from nine regional areas around the state and I know of people staying and making it their summer holiday."

Tennis Victoria Country Committee Chairperson Ken Barton said it was great to see the local community get behind the event.

"It's a great venue here, we managed to secure state government funding for the hard courts," he said

"It shows how great Mt Prospect can run such a large event and helps to show we can run large events in the future."

The tournament's success has local business owners doubting any economy slack from the decision by Forest Resort Creswick to forfeit its rights to next year's Victoria PGA Championship.

Some local business owners said tourism was stronger than ever before in Creswick.

Owner of The American Hotel Brendan Smith said the loss of the PGA Championship would not have a major impact on the number of people dining out.

"We didn't really notice a huge difference in business when the PGA was on, we expected a lot of business from it and didn't really get it," he said.

"I believe a lot of people stayed in Ballarat and practiced in Ballarat because there isn't another golf course out here to practice on.

"We have been flat out with the tennis tournament on"

"But we have been flat out with the tennis tournament on."

Smokeytown Cafe owner Haldon Wright said the number of tourists over the weekend had been beneficial for all businesses in Creswick.

"We found there were lots of people you could pick from the tournament, all day Friday we were flat out," he said.

"Events like this will always increase numbers to the town."

It has been 35 years since Central Highlands hosted the event, with next year's event also set to be played at Mt Prospect.

"Normal events locate to a new venue each year, but Central Highlands were lucky enough to get two years," Mr Barton said.

"So we have the chance to look at how to improve it for next year."

Competitors from the Barwon region who travelled to Creswick for the tournament said they were overwhelmed by the friendliness of the locals and looked forward to returning next year.

"The grass courts are lovely, the town and locals are delightful and relaxing, and it's just a pretty little historic town with great coffee venues," Fiona Walker said.

Haldon Wright of Smokeytown Café said the tennis event was good for business. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Haldon Wright of Smokeytown Café said the tennis event was good for business. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST


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