Govt to spend $1m on Winter Games

The Government will spend $1 million on this year's inaugural Winter Games in Otago, Prime Minister John Key said today.

The event, which will be the southern hemisphere's largest winter sports event, will be held at several venues around the Otago region in August.

The biennial games will take place at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona, Snow Farm, Naseby and Dunedin from 21-30 August.

It will feature alpine skiing, free skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and demonstration sports.

The Government wanted to attract and develop world class events, Mr Key said.

"This is a great example of an exciting, home-grown event with huge potential. The tourism spinoffs in terms of visitor numbers and spending will be significant," he said.

"The event will put New Zealand's pristine winter landscape on 350 million television screens around the world and attract 800 of the world's elite winter sports athletes, many of whom will go on to the Winter Olympics.

"It is expected to generate $50 million into New Zealand's economy in the first year."

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