Washington County Nets over $41 Million from 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN® World Championship Presented by Utah Sports Commission 

Figure Raises 12 Year Total IRONMAN has Contributed to Local Economy to $160 Million 

St. George, Utah – May 12, 2022 –The Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office today announced the economic impact from the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN® World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission. Results from an athlete survey conducted by an independent research team and other data analysis indicates that the iconic event, which took place on May 7, has delivered $41.7 million directly to the local economy. Including the most recent results, IRONMAN events have infused more than $160 million into the local community since its first event in Greater Zion in 2010. Beyond the financials, the event is anticipated to positively impact the area in a number of ways, including raising the profile of the community, job creation and reducing overall community taxes. 

“Tourism and iconic events like IRONMAN drive the economic engine of our community,” said Kevin Lewis, director of the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office. “The $41.7 million in economic impact represents money that came from outside the area that is infused directly into our businesses. The ripple effects of the taxes paid by these visitors as well as the eyes of the world being on our community as they follow the pinnacle IRONMAN World Championship race will continue to have positive impacts for years to come.” 

The May 7 event marked the first time the IRONMAN World Championship triathlon was ever contested outside Hawai`i. More than 2,800 triathletes competed, with participants from all 50 states and more than 80 countries, regions and territories. Nearly 12,000 guests and spectators accompanied the athletes as they traveled to the destination. 

The IRONMAN World Championship generated more than 83,000 total room nights at hotels and rentals in Washington County. Many of the athletes visited the area ahead of time to train, boosting the overall room nights. During the event, most competitors stayed in Greater Zion for over six nights to facilitate the full schedule of events and exploration of the area. Overnight guests in Washington County each pay a Transient Room Tax (TRT) of 4.25 percent, which goes to the county for tourism development and infrastructure. Over the past decade, $25 million from TRT funds have been invested in projects throughout the county to the benefit of local residents and visitors. Projects supported by TRT funds include various trail systems, the Snake Hollow Bike Park, Greater Zion Stadium at Dixie State University and more. 

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“This event has had a huge positive economic impact on our community but it has also delivered so much more than money,” said Lewis. “With millions watching around the world and taking in the amazing scenery, this really helps raise the profile of our community on a global scale. Just as important, it helps generate excitement and foster a sense of community, create jobs and lower taxes for our residents.” 

The thousands of visitors in Greater Zion for the event also frequented area businesses injecting direct funds from outside the region into area restaurants, shops, outfitters and more. An infusion of revenue is also generated for event infrastructure, labor and operation costs, which adds to the total economic impacts locally. This revenue from visitors stimulates the economy and helps to reduce the overall taxes paid by county residents by more than $1,200 per household, per year. Washington County enjoys the lowest property taxes in the state of Utah, thanks in part to the tourism funds generated on an annual basis. 

The athlete survey also revealed an overall favorable sentiment for Greater Zion among participants that will continue to payoff over the coming years as the triathletes return and encourage others to visit. More than 84 percent of respondents indicated that they would return to the destination. In total, 44 percent of the triathletes were first-time visitors to the area. 

Media outlets around the world reported on the IRONMAN World Championship in Greater Zion, helping to reach an even larger audience. Preliminary reporting indicates that since the announcement of the event in September 2021, nearly 3,000 news stories in the United States have highlighted Greater Zion’s involvement. The coverage has included stories is The New York Times, Forbes, ESPN, Travel + Leisure, Outside, BBC and The Salt Lake Tribune. Press coverage from the event has reached a domestic audience of more 877 million with an estimated publicity value of more than $16 million. Additionally, the stories from the race will continue to be told on July 24 along with amazing visuals showcasing the region through the official documentary special airing on NBC. 

Local enthusiasm for the event was also high with more than 4,800 volunteers answering the call to support the IRONMAN World Championship. 

“I’m always inspired by the enthusiasm and goodness in our communities,” added Lewis. “The people of Southern Utah really came together to make this once in a lifetime race happen. You could see the pride in everyone from our amazing volunteers to spectators cheering on the racers and all who come out on race day to compete. Events like this help showcase that goodness on a global stage.” 

In October of this year, Greater Zion will host the 2022 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN® 70.3 World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission. The event is slated to feature nearly 7,000 athletes in an expanded two-day race format. The economic impact from that race is estimated at $25-30 million. 

In the coming weeks, the Greater Zion Tourism & Convention Office expects to see additional data indicating the number of spectators who watched the race globally via IRONMAN Now™ available on Facebook Watch, and NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, as well as data about media reach and coverage.