Snow problem entertaining snowed-in snowboarders
Hotel manager Penny Clark has found the perfect way to entertain snowed-in snowboarders at Queenstown’s Goldridge Resort – giving them a shovel to build their own snow ramp.
Despite much of Queenstown grinding to a halt because of heavy snow, Penny’s guests are flying high on their makeshift ‘slope’ on the hotel lawn.
“We have a group of young Australian guests who have come for the snowboarding but we are snowed in so they can’t get up to the slopes,” said Penny, Regional Chair for the New Zealand Hotel Council.
“They were rather disappointed about that so this morning I found a spade for them and suggested they make use of all the snow on the lawn and build a snow ramp and have some fun.
“They’ve done a great job, had a great time and are out there now, whizzing through the air.”
Heavy snowfall in Queenstown and resulting flight disruptions contributed to reduced occupancy in New Zealand Hotel Council hotels in Queenstown during July, with fewer Australian visitors than the same period last year.
However, Air Asia X flights into Christchurch from Malaysia, introduced in April, have led to increased numbers of Asian visitors, with Asian markets representing over 11% of hotel guest nights in July in Queenstown up from 7.6% last year.
“We are seeing an increase in the numbers of visitors from Malaysia and other Asian countries, with many coming through Singapore,” said Penny. “We expect that to continue throughout the spring and summer too, both with visitors for the Rugby World Cup and general tourism. Most hotels in Queenstown still have good availability for all periods, including September and October.”
As well as happy snowboarders, the 75-room resort - which prides itself on offering “affordable luxury” - is filled with the smell of baking as staff cook up masses of scones as an alternative to bread.
“We’re worried the bread man won’t be able to get through so we’re cooking lots of scones instead,” said Penny.