$2 million pumped into city economy by Wodonga Cup race meeting

LAST year's Wodonga Cup meeting generated $2 million in economic activity with close to half spent by visitors to the city.

SPECIAL GUESTS: Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula and Wodonga Mayor Anna Speedie at last year's Gold Cup meeting. Picture: MARK JESSER

SPECIAL GUESTS: Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula and Wodonga Mayor Anna Speedie at last year's Gold Cup meeting. Picture: MARK JESSER

Independent research carried out at the event which was held for the third year with a public holiday revealed Wodonga residents spent $1.14 million on activities associated with the meeting.

But a further $461,058 was splurged by residents from other Victorian locations and another $433,354 by interstate visitors.

The official cup day attendance of 7009 people was broken down into 3935 – or 56.1 per cent – from Wodonga and 1548 people from other Victorian places and 1505 from interstate.

The meeting also attracted 22 people from overseas countries.

Wodonga Cup has been the beneficiary of a full-day public holiday in lieu of Melbourne Cup since 2014 with the arrangement guaranteed for at least two more years.

The research was conducted by consultants IER Pty Ltd which has been used extensively by the racing industry.

The public holiday requires council support to justify the Victoria government gazetting the date.

Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula was among the visitors to the Wodonga Cup last year.

“The Wodonga Gold Cup delivers huge economic benefits to the community, creates jobs and brings thousands of people to Wodonga every year,” he said.

“The public holiday means that thousands more locals can attend and enjoy a day out at the races with friends and family.”

The IER research also revealed the meeting attracted more than 1500 day visitors and another 1000 overnight visitors who filled more than 2200 beds in Wodonga.

More than 30 per cent of racegoers said they would not attend the cup meeting if it wasn't a public holiday.

Racing Wodonga general manager Tom O'Connor said the Victorian government contributed $17,000 towards last year's race.

“The cup meeting is popular with the local community and is a major tourist drawcard,” he said.

“We would also like to thank the council for their ongoing support.”

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