The Eden Mountain Bike club is one step closer to bringing world-class mountain bike trails to the town.
Premier track builders World Trail will visit the area as soon as next week to audit the proposed site with the club needing to meet six key criteria to qualify to be a World Trail circuit.
Club spokesman Stan Soroka said the criteria included things like access, connectivity through transport as well as opportunity for expansion, nearby accommodation.
"If they're going to build it, they want to make sure it's going to be successful and worthy of having their name on it," Mr Soroka said, adding the club is confident they meet all the criteria.
World Trail CEO Glen Jacobs will himself visit the area to assess the proposal and a grant application to fund construction has already been lodged pending the rubber stamp from the track builders.
Stage one is 60km of circuit through lush state forest near Eden and a huge green tick for the club is that they already have backing of Forestry NSW to go ahead.
If all goes smoothly physical plotting of a layout can commence with stage one built in about 12 months.
Mr Soroka said the club has been sharing information with fellow clubs in Tathra and Narooma as they want to see the Sapphire Coast become a collective mountain biking hot spot.
"We want to see it as a regional mountain biking destination and for us all to be successful," he said.
"We'd like to develop an event called the Sapphire Classic, we could run in Cooma, then Eden, then Tathra Narooma and maybe finish in Mogo, it's about attracting riders in the sport to the area."
Mr Soroka said Eden had a strong history as an industry town, but declines in the timber and fishing industries meant an ever-growing reliance on summer tourist trade.
"We've got to make hay when the sun shines and the summer trade has to get us right through the winter months - we've suffered terribly with the bushfires and we've just gone through another cross-border evacuation of sorts."
He said the impact to Eden's caravan parks alone could amount to $2 million in lost trade and hopes the trails could bring off-season visitors.
"These guys are unreal they'll come from all over the world - they're just passionate enthusiasts," Mr Soroka said.
Mr Soroka said mountain biking trails were providing other regions across Australia strong streams of visitors and a successful bid could help forge resilience to lost summer trade like the region has experienced.
"The proof is out there that it works."