The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) has reconfirmed that the mountain biking trails in Rotorua are among the “best of the best” worldwide.
IMBA is the international leader in mountain bike advocacy, and the only organization in the U.S. focused entirely on trails and access, for all types of mountain bikers in all parts of the world. In order to promote mountain biking around the globe, the organisation works with communities and destinations to designate Ride Centers™, at bronze, silver and gold levels, that meet their professional assessment.
This year IMBA renewed our city’s gold-level Ride Center status for another four years. There are currently only six gold-level IMBA Ride Centers in the world.
IMBA’s Ride Center designation recognises progressive trail communities that value mountain biking and have a trail-forward approach that serves their community members alongside recreational tourism.
In their assessment of Rotorua, IMBA noted:
“Many of the trails that cover Whakarewarewa National Forest were built by mountain bikers and capture the riding experience mountain bikers crave, with twists and turns that are fun to ride at any speed. Rotorua offers rides for every level of mountain biker – from family fun to expert level – as well as details like excellent trail maps, central accommodation and a plethora of bike rental options.”
Dave Wiens, IMBA executive director said, “A gold-level IMBA Ride Center is the best of the best. Rotorua has what so many destinations aspire to have, and their commitment to mountain biking is evidenced in their status renewal. The trails and facilities for mountain bikers are world-class.”
Michelle Templer, Destination Rotorua chief executive said, “Mountain biking plays an important role in Rotorua’s reputation as a great place to live and visit. We know that people come here from all over the world to bike our trails, and that reputation has been enhanced by the success of events like Crankworx Rotorua and the Enduro World Series.
“The mountain biking industry is also an important contributor to the Rotorua economy, attracting businesses and investment, as well as visitor spend.”
A 2018 economic impact study revealed that people who ride in Whakarewarewa Forest contribute $30m-50m in spending annually to the local economy.
Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson, who is chairman of the board for Crankworx Rotorua, said, “The renewal of our IMBA gold status is a sensational achievement for our community. It acknowledges the continued passion, enthusiasm and commitment the Rotorua community has to keeping the trails in such a fantastic condition.
“It is also no accident that Rotorua is blessed with an ever-increasing range of businesses and services, employing over 300 people, to cater to every rider’s requirements.”
Rotorua was first assigned the IMBA gold status in 2015.
Photo credit: Mark Coker