SA Masters Games | Businesses benefit

NARACOORTE'S successful hosting of the 2014 SA Masters Games benefited the local community in more ways than one.

There were 997 registered athletes for the April 4-7 event - many of them coming from out of town, and needing somewhere to eat, drink and sleep while competing in the 18 sports on offer.

The cafes, hotels and accommodation venues reported a boom across Friday, Saturday and Sunday while other businesses felt some of the flow-on effects.

Naracoorte Lucindale Business and Tourism Association president Judy Johnson, also an owner of The Veg Shed, said she and the other members were pleased with the event.

"The service businesses would have done very well from it...they directly benefited by providing food and accommodation," she said. "Other businesses saw different faces which, hopefully now that they've seen the stores, will come back.

"Anything that brings people into town is a good thing."

Ms Johnson said The Veg Shed did as well as was expected. "I didn't expect too much," she said. "People weren't here to shop but to play sport and socialise.

"We benefit indirectly by supporting the sporting clubs and restaurants. There was a flow-on to businesses who supplied them with produce, food and other things.

"Overall though there were a lot of positive comments about Naracoorte itself."

Naracoorte Hotel publican Henry Mould said he was thrilled with the number of people around, especially on Friday night when roughly 300 meals were served.

"We had a boomer weekend and certainly enjoyed the crowds," he said.

"I thought it was great. Any major event that comes into Naracoorte has to be supported."

Jack Jennings at the Bushman's Arms Hotel agreed: "It was definitely worthwhile for the town," he said.

"It was very good for accommodation - we were full basically every night - and on the meals side of things it was pretty steady.

"Not so much during the day but certainly accommodation and the bottle shop did great."

The Kincraig Hotel was where all the action was on Saturday night after people finished at the individual sporting clubs.

Publican Peter Symonds said it was huge for meals and the front bar.

"We were very happy," he said. "We were even busy out at the Lucindale Hotel because the Port Augusta cricket team was staying there.

"It (the Masters Games) supports all the businesses in town and brings outside money in. It's very good."

The games attracted competitors from the age of 28 right up to 88 with an equal number of males and female entrants. The majority (89 per cent) were from SA with over half (59.2 per cent) coming from in and around the Limestone Coast.

Next year's games will be in Clare in March.

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