The sleepy coastal tourist and fishing town of St Helens in Tasmania has seen real estate prices jump 20% and a brand new bike shop open, thanks to new MTB trails opening.
With a population of just over 2,000, St Helens would usually be too small to support a bike shop, but Giant St Helens, which opened last year, is focused on MTB hire for the waves of visiting riders.
There’s even a new shuttle bus company next door, Gravity Isle MTB Shuttles.
All of this activity has been caused by a major new MTB park, Blue Derby, opening right next to town.
St Helens’ mountain bike induced economic boom has caught the attention of national media, the ABC news recently posting this in-depth article about it.
In the article, local real estate agent Heidi Howe said, “There’s a lot of people who mention, ‘We missed out in Derby, we can’t afford to buy in Derby now’ and so they’re realising that they need to jump on the bandwagon in St Helens.
“We’ve got houses selling much quicker than they ever used to.
“The wish list that we regularly get is, ‘I want to be close to the trails, I want to be close to the town and the restaurants and a view would be nice’.
“Previously it was, ‘I want to have a great view’.”
Meanwhile the Mayor, Mick Tucker said the town was, ‘going off like a frog in a sock.”