Lenzerheide World Championships Contributed €11.5 Million to Local Economy

Sep 13, 2019 at 6:23
by James Smurthwaite  
Keegan Wright swooping in through the Swiss crowds.

The UCI has released a study into the economic impacts of its major events that includes a case study of the 2018 Lenzerheide World Champs and claims that the event had a Gross Value Add (GVA) impact of €11.5 million for the local area.

The event attracted 34,000 visitors to the region that has a population of only 8,000 people normally. These visitors contributed 73% of the GVA total with 15% of the rest of the spend coming from the 1,640 people that made up the media and teams and then a final 12% came from operational expenditure required to deliver the event. The event also created 190 employment opportunities across the weekend.

Kate Courtney had already shown herself up front with the worlds fastest ladies but today she became the world s fastest.

The largest spend over the weekend came was on accommodation with international visitors spending an average of €62 a night for somewhere to stay. They also spent an average of €20 on food and €16 on transport. This added up to an average daily spend for international visitors coming in at €106.

The majority of international visitors came from Germany (39%) with Austria and Italy both being the second largest countries at 9%. Canada was the fifth biggest international attendance with 3% of visitors.

Crowds everywhere in Lenzerheide. Those who were late got stuck in a three hour traffic jam up the mountain.

These numbers made the Lenzerheide World Championships more valuable than the UCI Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands (€2.3 million GVA) and the Gran Fondo World Championships in Varese, Italy (€4.4 million). In fact, only the Road World Championships in Innsbruck contributed more to the local community, coming in at €39.8 million GVA.

The full study can be found here.


  • 36 6
 Cool, marketing statistics shared with sponsors for ad dollars, I'm sure they're quite fluffy too. With all the money theyre saying these types of events can generate for everyone involved I wonder if they can find a couple bucks to help pay the medical costs of leaving a certain rider on the side of a mountain for 5 hours, no?
  • 4 0
 I'm pretty sure I recall seeing some helicopters landed and waiting at Lenzerheide.
  • 12 0
 Im a voluntary paramedic here in Austria... If we f*ck up so bad as it happened in MSA I'll know that Im going to get sued for sure.

And I hope the UCI gets sued too for "organizing" first aid.

Imagine some Tour de France cyclist crashing and waiting 5h to go to the hospital- yeah wont ever Happen.
  • 2 15
flag thesharkman (Sep 13, 2019 at 22:32) (Below Threshold)
 Brooke ended up being fine. The helicopter wasn't even needed. Now someone has a huge unnecessary bill to pay.
  • 8 0
 @thesharkman: i assume if you’d just broken your spine & lost sensation in your legs you’d be fine with being dragged down the mountain and tell the helicopter it’s not needed
  • 17 1
 €20 spend in average for food... No way. It's Switzerland. Our bill at dinner for water alone was over €30 haha.
  • 2 0
 Most people bought takeways from food trucks and/or food at the nearest Migros supermarket. It's not like Lenzerheide was filled with enough restaurant to feed everybody. We definitely spend a bit more but I guess many people also came with their own sandwiches.
  • 15 3
 "The event attracted 34,000 visitors to the region that has a population of only 8,000 people normally."

Not sure this is really a selling point - lol. Sounds like hell
  • 11 0
 I mean, to be fair most tourist towns are a pretty similar structure. A few thousands year round residents and any given weekend hosts 10-20x that.
  • 9 0
 I'd like to see a head count at Whistler for Crankworx.
  • 1 0
 Where I live it’s estimated visitors (mostly recreation but some employment) out number residents 3:2 on average through out the year - it can being annoying but then I remember I get to do the daily what they only get to do for holiday. And at least their mostly friendly and in good spirits.
  • 1 0
 In South Lake Tahoe our population is about 22,000 and a quick internet search says we see 2.7 million visitors a year. Yikes.
  • 1 0
 "Sounds like hell"

Not for mountain biking, trust me on that.
  • 10 0
 Is this article a veiled dig at MSA for being to tight to higher a helicopter for the weekend? ha ha ha
  • 9 0
 Where the hell are all these 62euro rooms?!
  • 11 0
 It's the average when you look at 33,950 people camping and 50 people staying in Swiss hotels
  • 1 0
 4 people per room
  • 2 0
 62€ per person, not per room!
  • 1 0
 My wife and I recently stayed just outside of lenzerheide, on the edge of the Davos region. Hotel was 100 a night, had a kitchenette so we didn't have to eat at a restaurant and because we stayed 2 nights we got lift passes to the whole Davos region included.
  • 1 0
 @catweasel: but was that rate inflated for the week of world champs ;-) likely not
  • 4 0
 Wow, 34,000 vistors and the racers who risked their lives to bring them there made less than a dollar per person in prize money!
The prize money in this sport is so sad. I know it isn't golf or tennis but seriously, can't the sponsors and UCI pay just half of 1% of golf? In the PGA tour the minimum a winner will get this year is $630,000, the minimum the 65th place player gets is $7,250 (in a 3.5 million prize money tournament) at tournaments with 12.5 million in prize money the winner gets $2,250,000 and 65th gets $26,785.
I think the prize money at NORBA Nationals in the 90's was higher than World Cups now, adjusted for inflation the 90s prize money is probably 3 times what it is now.
I know, it was on television then. Well they are getting more views on Redbull TV plus, sites like this and on social media.
As Troy Brosnan said in a recent interview they need a racers union. Rant over.
  • 1 1
 It’s pretty comical you think mountain biking is in anyway close to the scale of a PGA tournament. National and international TV deals with huge viewership.

Mountain biking barely gets free coverage on RedBull TV and a few websites. All of the outlets you’re talking about are free to access and most sell ad space to cover the cost of their own coverage.

Look how many golf courses in the smaller town in America compared to the struggle for mountain bike access.

The average golf commentator compared to Rob Warner, I bet they make many multiples of Rob’s salary.
  • 2 0
 during his reign, Tiger was the highest paid sportsperson on earth, which tells you everything you need to know about where golf ranks in money generation.
  • 3 0
 Would be interested to know how Snowshoe made out last weekend,..... I guess if they host another race they made money, if they don’t, I’ll assume it was a loss.
I spent $1,200 on accommodation, another $200 on event tickets plus food and beers. I have to think they made money, I actually hope they made a lot of money, probably our best chance of seeing another race in the US.
  • 3 0
 Last i'd heard they sold around 16k tickets. Guy at the pizza shop said they'd never seen so many people on the mountain and he'd been in the business for 20 years. Pretty freaking cool.
  • 3 0
 My wife and I made the trip to Lenzerheide for my birthday. Would never have visited except for the UCI race. The race was amazing! Our swiss hosts at the air bnb were amazing and the local swiss riders gave us great intel on the trails. Overall a great experience. The swiss had a helicopter with physicians on standby and we saw them practicing evacuation procedures before the race. Can't wait for the UCI to run a race on the new Whistler DH course being built.
  • 6 0
 Biking is better for the economy than the olympics!
  • 3 3
 Biking is olympic though.
  • 6 3
 Mining is better for the economy than the Olympics
  • 2 0
 In terms of money brought into the local economy, no the Olympics blows this out of the water. In terms of it being a better deal for the local government on the other hand is a completely different question.
  • 3 0
 Pretty much any event that doesn't require a massive and permanent regional infrastructure investment is better for the local economy than the olympics. The olympics are consistently a net money-loser for the host cities.
  • 3 0
 @bkm303: 2012 Olympics cost the UK tax payer £9.3 billion at final tally... £9,300,000,000 in a time of austerity. Rolleyes

  • 2 0
 I'm a NICA coach in Pennsylvania and one of the things we do to grow the sport is fill out surveys after each race weekend stating how much money was spent locally on lodging, food, etc. The league publishes that with intent to find new venues, add weight to trailbuilding initiatives, and generally get the word out that our group is growing and spending noteworthy amounts of money. This sort of information gathering and sharing is a great way to help our sport.
  • 4 0
 Monte St. Anne world championships....blacked out to 11.5 million people!
  • 1 0
 Maybe this will be motivation for the US resorts to get their shit together and build some proper WC courses so we can get a few more races over here.
  • 3 0
 There is money in MTB. Some places are just starting to figure it out.
  • 3 1
 Switzerland, for 106 Euros a day?
  • 2 0
 "with international visitors spending an average of €62 a night for somewhere to stay" I guess I lot of those were camping or just staying at a bar...
  • 1 0
 @Pedro019: most people were indeed in the campings. The few hotels were full and used by the athletes and staff.
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre: have you even been to Lenzerheide? To say there are a ‘few’ hotels is ridiculous, more so that most visitors were camping because the hotels were full with athletes!
  • 1 0
 Are they sure it wasn't 11.6?
  • 1 0
 €62 + €20 + €16 = €106 ????

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