Tourism roared into life at the weekend with about $250,000 poured into the economy and accommodation booked out as thousands flocked to the region for Targa South West.
Event secretary David Smith said the event had an entourage of about 1000 people, made up of the 94 competitors, service crew, family and officials.
“I know that every place in Pemberton was booked out and people even had to stay in Manjimup,” Mr Smith said.
“One group of 12 also had to stay in Bridgetown because they couldn’t find a group accommodation closer.”
Mr Smith said if the competitors and their families each spent an approximate $400 a day on food, petrol, accommodation and incidentals, a $250,000 injection into the Pemberton community across two days was possible.
“We will be undertaking a post-event survey to get a more finalised look at the economic impact of Targa South West.”
Pemberton Accommodation Association president Kathy Barrett-Lennard said the event had positive outcomes for the Pemberton community.
“There was certainly peak demand for accommodation at the weekend,” she said.
“We already had people staying here at Marri House, who had rescheduled from earlier in the year, and didn’t even know Targa was on but said they would be coming back for the event next year.”
Event director Ross Tapper said competitors had reservations about the shorter, one-day event but during the day, organisers received only positive feedback.
“It was good to get out to enjoy doing what we enjoy,” he said.
Bunbury competitor Mark Cates said everything came together for the event.
“It was a good field of competitors and the stages were fun, especially Gloucester which was fast and furious, and challenging us more than we expected,” he said.
“It was a wonderfully run event, a testament to the dedication to Ross, Jan, David and their team of officials — without them there would be no rallies in WA.”
Classic competition winner Tim Wolfe said everyone was so glad to be back racing again.
“We celebrated long into the night and did our bit to provide a boost to the local economy,” he said.
The team at Pemberton’s Crossings bakery said their business saw a big increase in foot traffic and sales at the weekend.
Manjimup shire president Paul Omodei said it was a great event and something he would like to continue into the future.
“It was good for the economy and good for motorsport,” he said.
“The eating houses all benefited, accommodation benefited and even the towns on the way to Pemberton would have benefited from people stopping off for petrol or food.”
Cr Omodei said he looked forward to Targa South West continuing next year as well as the ongoing positive working relationship the Manjimup Shire Council had with event organisers.
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