October 1, 2014

Elyria
Partly sunny
70°F
test

Mudder’s move to Mansfield a tough blow to tourism

Despite a successful first run in Lorain County, Tough Mudder will not be returning to the area next year.

According to Mansfield’s tourism website, Tough Mudder LLC has entered into a five-year contract with Mansfield City Council to host events on 490 acres of city-owned property next to Mansfield Lahm Airport. The first event included under the agreement is scheduled April 27 and 28.

Tough Mudder, a 10- to 12-mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces, visited South Amherst Quarry in April. The obstacle course is touted as “one of the toughest events on the planet,” with participants climbing barriers, wading through ice water and getting shocked with electrical wires.

Barb Bickel, executive director of Visit Lorain County, said, while the South Amherst Quarry’s terrain was optimal for participants, it proved challenging to the organizers of Tough Mudder.

The company was happy with the turnout last year, Bickel said, and they were looking to return to Lorain County. Spots under consideration were the Lorain County Regional Airport and the vacant Eastside Industrial Park in Lorain.

But Bickel said there were some problems receiving approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, however, and Tough Mudder was looking for a long-term arrangement.

“I think, ultimately, they wanted to sign a long-term contract,” she said. “I think that was part of it.”

Bickel said Visit Lorain County is disappointed that Tough Mudder will not be returning to the area anytime soon — approximately 13,000 people participated in the event it April, bringing in more than $1 million in revenue for Lorain County.

Bickel said, however, that Visit Lorain County will move forward and begin organizing new events, like the Ohio Police and Fire Games scheduled in June.

The event will feature shooting, track and field and a triathlon event.

“We’re always looking at new events to bring people in,” Bickel said. “(Tough Mudder was) great to work with. We’re sorry to see them go, but we were glad to work with them.”

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.