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Businesses looking to boom from influx of thousands for Masters Games in north-west Tasmania :-: abc net

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Businesses in north-west Tasmania are preparing for a boom as thousands of mature age athletes arrive for the 2017 Masters Games.

While the athletes have been busy training, regional businesses have been doing their own preparations.

Devonport antique emporium owner John Cole has been on a buying spree, stocking up in anticipation of strong trading over the fortnight of the games.

"The last four or five months we've probably bought an extra $50,000 to $70,000 of stock in preparation," he said.

"We think we'll probably double our takings for the next ten days."

Mr Cole expects the games competitors will be cashed up and ready to spend.

Devonport antique dealer John Cole puts new stock on display

"The demographics of those people were that they were older people, with disposable income."

"A lot of those people are travelling in groups of people without their partners, and our experience is when they're doing that, they spend more money."

Masters Games 2017 general manager Scott Wade agrees with that assessment.

He estimated the games would inject more than $12 million into the local economy.

"This is the largest event that has been ever held in the region."

"Based on previous economic impact for an event like this I think $12 million is pretty conservative," he said.

"I think the locals are starting to understand now."

Dozens of sports across the region

More than 5000 people have registered to compete in the games and there'll be in excess of 1000 volunteers .

47 sports will be contested in 65 venues scattered around north and north west of Tasmania.

Hobart's June Cashion and Shirleen Tubb are two of them.

Shirleen Tubb sends one down the lane at the Devonport alley as training for ten pin bowling at the Masters Games

The long time friends will pair up in the ten pin bowling event.

78 year old Cashion has been bowling for 42 years.

"I had a car accident, I broke my neck and I was in all this plaster. When I came out of it, my physio suggested I do it"

"When he suggested I go to the bowl, I thought that's for hangouts and dropouts"

"But it just took off from there" she says.

She's since represented her state in tournaments all across the country, and even participated in the last Masters games to be held in Tasmania in 1987.

"It's so great to have the games back here in Tasmania"

Shirleen Tubb's bowling career is only fledgling in comparison to her good friend.

She's been sending them down for ten years.

"I've seen places that I would never have seen had it not been for bowling, and now count friends in every state in Australia".

"That wouldn't have happened without bowling".

She believes the next generation can learn plenty from the Masters Games, which features athletes aged predominately 45 and over.

Bookings made a year in advance

Many accommodation providers in Devonport are already sold out during the Games fortnight and visitors have found rooms in town and cities around the region.

Judy King (left) and Susan Clarke (right) make up a room in preparation for the arrival of Masters Games competitors.

Argosy Motor Inn venue manager Vanessa Abel said she received bookings from games competitors 12 months in advance.

"I've got a hockey team, volleyball team, netball team, I've got rowers, I've got about six teams staying," she said.

"I've up extra staff on for the meals, I've put extra house maids on, I've put on two ladies in the laundry."

The Seven Sheds Brewery in Railton has relabelled one of it's most popular beers to feature the Masters Games logo.

It hopes to lure competitors and their families and friends to the small town south of Devonport.

"Some of the events only cover one or two days, so people have got time to have a look around this area, come and sample some of the local produce," co-owner Willie Simpson said.

Brewers Willie Simpson and Paul Wallace peek into a brewing vat at the Seven Sheds brewery at Railton

"I'm hoping they'll be in party mode, in spending mode."

The Masters Games starts on Saturday with an opening ceremony in Devonport in the evening.

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Original Article

ABC .net

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