ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – Ironman athletes are gearing up for one of the biggest athletic events in the world. According to the Director for the Greater Zion Convention and Tourism Office, Kevin Lewis, this one-day event is expected to bring $25-30 million to the area.
“People are saying it’s the most globally recognizable event that’s been in Utah since the 2002 Winter Olympics,” says Lewis.
Lewis says last September 70.3 World Championship brought 3,700 athletes and about 11,000 visitors, totaling 18 million dollars in revenue.
“They do bring money back into the community through charitable grants and foundation funds, and with that, I think it was $115 million invested right back into our community, the Washington County School District, and the Children’s Justice Center,” he says.
Most of the revenue is going back to local businesses, Lewis says and a percentage is generated through hotel and sales tax from visitors.
“And then we take those dollars and invest them back into our community like trails and parks, so over the last 10 years since Ironman has been here, we’ve invested 25 million dollars back into the community on infrastructure like that,” says Lewis.
He says another Ironman event is scheduled in October and conversations are in the works to host future races in St. George.