(BIVN) – As crowds in Kailua-Kona are already swelling ahead of the 2019 Ironman world championship, race organizers issued a media release focusing on the total economic impact that the event brings to Hawaiʻi.
There is little question the iconic IRONMAN® World Championship, held annually in Kailua-Kona, Hawaiʻi, is in a league of its own among globally recognized sporting events. Once again, history is expected to be made as approximately 2,500 of the world’s best triathletes descend on the Kona Coast for the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship on Saturday, October 12.
While epic visions emerge of athletes conquering the Kailua Bay swim, the bike across barren lava fields and the run along Aliʻi Drive, there is still far more to know about this iconic event. With a weeklong set of festivities and side events before the big day, in addition to the abundance of tourist activities, the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship is expected to bring a massive economic boost to Hawaiʻi.
“We are excited to welcome more than 20,000 of our IRONMAN ʻOhana, to the beautiful community here in Kailua-Kona to be a part of the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship ʻOhana,” said Diana Bertsch, Senior Vice President of World Championship Events for The IRONMAN Group. “We take pride in the significant impact of this event, from the inspirational athletes and their physical accomplishments, to the benefits for the local communities and showcasing of this amazing location to the world.”
Situated on the western coast of the Island of Hawaiʻi, Kailua-Kona provides visitors a warm and sunny environment perfect for snorkeling, sunbathing and swimming. Combined with world famous golf courses and resorts, there are plenty of leisure and adventure activities within driving distance. Starting in Kona, guests can travel through all but four of the world’s different climate zones thanks to the unique geological features of the Island of Hawaiʻi. Ranging from Wet Tropical to Polar Tundra, visitors can experience the rich coffee fields of Kona, jet-black sands of Punalu`u Beach, lush valleys of the Hilo and Hāmākua Coasts, and the snow-capped heights of Mauna Kea. In all, Kona and the Island of Hawaiʻi is an unrivaled expression of the power of nature.
Taking advantage of all that Hawaiʻi has to offer, athletes, their family and friends stay an average of six nights for the world’s pinnacle event, helping to bring an expected total economic impact of more than $30 million. Going beyond tourism, the event also creates tangible change in the community through the IRONMAN Foundation’s distribution of charitable giveback to nonprofit initiatives and groups in the Kailua-Kona community. This year’s grant funding of more than $120,000 brings the total giveback awarded in the region to over $1.8 million across 1,325 nonprofit organizations.
“Kona has been home to the IRONMAN World Championship since 1981 and we take great pride in sharing our amazing community with the world each October,” added Bertsch. “Every year the event continues to grow as does the ʻohana who come to witness history being made each year. The IRONMAN World Championship’s global appeal, in combination with the surreal beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, makes for the perfect competitive destination. We are extremely honored to extend our Aloha to all who come to experience this amazing event.”