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Lions Tour Breaks Tourism Records For Skycity

15 July 2005

Lions Tour Breaks Tourism Records For Skycity

Lions fans spent more than $400 each per night to help make SKYCITY Grand Hotel the highest revenue-producing hotel in Auckland from 7 - 9 July 2005.

Lions supporters filled both SKYCITY's hotels, put the Sky Jump through its busiest period since opening in December 2001 and more than doubled the previous record for Sky Tower visits. The highest-profile supporter, Prince William, also contributed to the tally for the revolving Sky Tower restaurant, Orbit, when he took a group of friends there for dinner - sampling some Hawke's Bay chardonnay and Otago pinot noir - on 4 July.

SKYCITY management has been tallying the business done as a result of the Lions tour. Jill Birch, SKYCITY General Manager, Marketing, says SKYCITY's two hotels, with a total of 660 hotel rooms, were both full with Lions supporters last week.

"Last week generated the highest average room rates for SKYCITY since the America's Cup back in Feb 2003," she says.

"Our new SKYCITY Grand Hotel and SKYCITY Hotel both ran at 100% occupancy for three consecutive days (7 - 9 July) last week with virtually all rooms sold to Lions supporter groups. Days either side were also close to 100% full," she says.

Steve Weidmann, Managing Director, Sky Jump says that last Thursday broke the record for the highest number of jumpers leaping off Sky Tower and was the "busiest ever period" since opening in December 2001.

"Then on Friday, we broke that record again," he says.

"We had approximately four times more jumpers than usual. We far out-jumped our previously busiest period last Xmas New Year - and it was totally down to the Lions supporters.

"They were a fantastic bunch that were so keen to jump, they jumped rain,
wind or shine and at all hours of the day or night. We had to work overtime to accommodate the influx of visitors from the UK and I had to bring in extra staff to cope. Fingers crossed we can host the World Cup," says Weidmann.

Weidmann estimates that approximately 50% of the Lions Tour customers had booked from overseas months in advance.

Sky Tower also reports a very successful week with approximately 2,600 visitors per day from Friday to Monday last week when around 1000 per day would be normal.

"Given the weather, it was a huge week for Sky Tower and the new merchandise shop did very well too" says Ms Birch.

"To top it all off we had a visit to our revolving Sky Tower restaurant, Orbit, on Monday night by the highest profile Lions Tour supporter - Prince William, who had an enjoyable relaxed evening with his group of friends from 8 pm until late," says Ms Birch.


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