Gold Coast event body to close ahead of merger

The Gold Coast event body behind Cooly Rocks On will close this week ahead of an incoming citywide tourism organisation merger.

After 12 years working on events, Connecting Southern Gold Coast (CSGC) is being axed alongside Surfers Paradise Alliance and Broadbeach Alliance as they merge into new events body Major Events Gold Coast.

With an annual budget of around $13 million, Major Events aims to book out each and every available weekend with a nationally or internationally broadcast event, lifting its special events schedule from $183 million in 2017 (55 per cent full) to $457 million by 2025 (90 per cent).

CSGC CEO Josh Martin says the move risks the region being “left behind”.

“It’s tremendously disappointing to be handing over our Southern Gold Coast promotional channels where we showcase the best of our region and its businesses,” he told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

“We have a highly engaged monthly e-newsletter, Facebook page and over 10,000 followers on our Instagram feed, which has doubled in just 12 months, a clear sign there’s demand for this region-specific content.

“While events bring in significant dollars, it’s also about activating and promoting the precinct regularly to drive visitation, and we are not sure that will occur under the new model.”

Division 14 councillor Gail O’Neill said CSGC “leaves a great legacy but will also leave a gap”.

“As the division councillor, I am keen to ensure that Council not only acknowledges (that gap) and am hopeful that this economic support can be carried on through other venues,” she told the Gold Coast Bulletin.