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Classic Boating Complex for Nelson Lakes

Classic Boating Complex for Nelson Lakes

Construction has started on the first stage of a new classic boating complex at St Arnaud, which will include a café, retail shop and a boat storage facility.

St Arnaud residents Pat and Wendy Gelling are behind the development, with strong support from the organisers of the New Zealand Antique and Classic Boat Show, Pete Rainey and Glenn Common.

Mr Gelling says they are excited about the opportunities the new development will bring to the village: “St Arnaud is a lovely destination and we need more facilities to accommodate visitors and the growing resident population.”

The boat storage will be a purpose-built, secure, dry storage facility, while the 80 seat café will have a classic boat theme and the shop will stock local art, gifts and products relating to the outdoors.

Mr Gelling says future stages of the development could include a museum.

“This would bring together the rich history of boating, trout fishing, gold prospecting, gliding, skiing, tramping, and the early settlers of the area,” he says. “It may also include a workshop area for boat maintenance, encompassing boat-building courses, and more retail space, to provide services for the community as well as outlets for skiing, fishing and mountain biking equipment rental.”

Boat Show coordinator Pete Rainey says the storage facility is the first step on the pathway towards establishing a centre for classic boats in New Zealand.

“It will bring life to the lake’s rich boating heritage, help grow classic boating nationally and showcase some of the really classic boats,” he says. ‘It’s a unique concept in that it features small craft, especially historic racing boats and the emphasis is on fresh-water boating rather than maritime.”

Completion of the boat storage facility is expected around the end of January 2013, with the café and retail space ready for business in late February or early March.

The Gellings have been involved in a number of businesses in St Arnaud including The Yellow House backpackers, St Arnaud Log Chalets and Nelson Lakes Shuttles. They currently operate the earthmoving business, Gelling Contracting.


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