Coast to Coast race provides financial shot in the arm for West Coast businesses

The first competitors in the annual Coast to Coast will set off from Kumara Beach on Friday, providing a financial shot in the arm for West Coast businesses. 

Across Greymouth, no vacancy signs are lit up as the largest field of competitors ever entered in the annual Coast to Coast rolls into town.

Coast to Coast Director Glen Currie says thousands are involved in the event. 

"We've got around 1200 competitors a bit on top of that you've got the support crews, so we are working on around 3500 people in terms of support crews, so we are working on around 4500 people in the event really."

Meaning a busy few days ahead at motels like the Coleraine on Gremouth's main street, who are expecting 30 Coast to Coast Competitors this weekend

Coleraine manager Terry Clark is welcoming the business. 

"It's been really helpful for this year, it's been a bit quiet for everyone, it's really good for the town and the motelliers."

It's a similar story down the road at the Highpark Motor Inn.

"2020 wasn't the best year for us but we are positive and optimistic going forward and having events like this does help for sure," says Linda Tucker from Highpark.

An influx of visitors crucial for these tourism operators particularly given that Tourism Minister Stuart Nash told the AM show he doesn't see international visitors returning before next year.

"The cold hard reality is you're not going to see busloads of Germans, Japanese, Americans, or English traveling up and down our highways in 2021."

Making these domestic visitors all the more important for the Coast.

It's just invaluable to us, it's just brilliant and all the accommodation, and all the even the retail businesses and so forth and walking out last night and seeing the no vacancy signs it's amazing," says Greymouth District Mayor Tania Gibson.

Tomorrow the hard slog begins for these Coast to Coast athletes, but before it does they're providing much-needed assistance to West Coast businesses in a slog of their own.