This weekend is one of the biggest on Orange’s tourism calendar this year with thousands of people expected to arrive in the region over the coming days.

About 1,200 competitors will compete in the Newcrest Orange Challenge and, based on last year’s figures, another 1,600 people are predicted to attend the Crafted Live: Brewed and BBQ’d beer festival at the Orange Showground.

Orange City Council’s Employment and Economic Development Committee Chair Jeff Whitton estimated at least $495,000 would be injected into the local economy from the Newcrest Orange Challenge alone.

“It’s a conservative estimate using Tourism Research Australia figures and an estimate of the number of competitors who were not local,” Cr Whitton said.

“It’s a big weekend and local businesses are already starting to reap the benefits. There will certainly be a few extra coffees bought and most rooms are booked.

“March is busy a time of the year in Orange in general. This month we have the Brass Band Celebration, the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Exhibition, the Rotary District Conference, the NSW Triathlon Cub Championships, the Glow Hard Fun Run at Moulder Park and the start of FOOD Week, just to name a few.

“We’re spoilt for choice here in Orange and I encourage everyone to get out and be a tourist in your own town, find out why people come from all parts of the country to visit Orange.
“The huge range of events in Orange is exactly why our new interim transition board is exploring broadening our marketing beyond the food and wine focus of the past.”

As well as beers and bikes there is plenty on for Orange residents such as the annual Teddy Bears Day Out in Cook park, the Orange Bird Show, which attracts thousands of visitors from across the country, the Duntryleague mansion’s first open day and the Orange Elephant Black Tie Autumn Ball.

“There is barely a weekend that goes by when there isn’t something big on in Orange for visitors and locals alike,” Cr Whitton said.

“The Visit Orange website and Facebook page isn’t just for tourists, it’s a great resource if you’re sitting at home wondering what to do. Have a look and you might be surprised to see just how busy our region really is.”