News and Media

Media Release - April 3, 2017

Skyline Enterprises proposes car parking building for Queenstown gondola project

Queenstown-based tourism operator Skyline Enterprises is proposing to build a multi-level car parking building as part of its gondola redevelopment plans, to help alleviate parking issues.

Skyline Enterprises last Friday applied to Queenstown Lakes District Council for a new lease of reserve land at the back of the existing base terminal as the first step in the process.

The move is in response to feedback during the public submission process last year, which followed Skyline’s application to QLDC to undertake a $100 million redevelopment of the entire gondola complex. Submissions requested that Skyline provide additional parking for Skyline visitors and staff.

If the Lease for 8,361sq m of Ben Lomond Recreation Reserve is approved, a resource consent application will be lodged for a car parking building to provide adequate parking for the Skyline redevelopment, consisting of at least 207 car parks. Car parks will be exclusively for the use of Skyline Queenstown staff and customers to satisfy consent conditions.  Any additional capacity within the car park building – which is still in the design process – will be available for use by the general public. 

The proposed lease area increases the footprint of an existing Skyline lease, which is already used for staff car parking behind the base terminal at the top of Brecon Street. Estimated to cost $10m, the car parking building would be hidden behind the proposed new base terminal and owned and operated by Skyline.

Skyline has been actively working with traffic planners and QLDC to come up with a solution since last October and a car parking building is the logical answer, Skyline Enterprises Executive Chairman Mark Quickfall says.

“We’ve been listening to the local community’s feedback and have taken it on board. We recognise there is an issue with car parking in central Queenstown, and with future projections in local population and visitor growth, we need to respond accordingly.

“Providing parking on-site makes it easier for people of all ages and abilities to access the gondola, and saves them having to park in the existing on-street car parks on Brecon Street and within the town centre and then walking up the hill to the gondola terminal,” he says.

In addition, significant work would be undertaken to improve pedestrian and cycleway access to Ben Lomond Recreation Reserve.

The application will involve a notified public process.

Meanwhile, the Environment Court is expected to sit for the gondola application in late May. The car parking proposal will be presented at the hearing.

“Skyline is committed to taking a balanced and considered approach for our gondola development project. It’s our biggest investment for Skyline Queenstown in 30 years, but we also want to make sure our world-class facility is something that the community can be proud of,” Quickfall adds.

 

Media Release - October 10, 2016

Skyline Queenstown reviewing public submissions for gondola redevelopment

Skyline Queenstown is reviewing the public submissions lodged for its proposed gondola redevelopment and is actively working on addressing concerns.

Nineteen submissions have been received by Queenstown Lakes District Council in relation to Skyline’s resource consent application, with most submissions concerned about the project’s impact on traffic management, earthworks, the environment and noise.

Skyline Enterprises Chairman Mark Quickfall says the scale of the project – which involves replacing its current gondola system, building a new base terminal and expanding the top complex – is such that concerns by affected parties were inevitable.

“This is all part of the development process. It’s a major project that involves significant construction works. We are doing everything we can to reduce the impact on our neighbours and will continue to take expert advice on how best to achieve this,” he says.

Skyline is working with acoustic engineers, earthworks, construction and operational noise and traffic and parking experts to actively work through concerns raised before the resource consent hearing.

“We’ve been in regular contact with affected neighbours and other parties throughout this process – as well as holding public open days – and our door is always open to listen to peoples’ issues,” Mr Quickfall adds.

Skyline acknowledges parking is a key issue and has relied on expert advice. Skyline also welcomes suggestions from the public and submitters. Feedback in terms of parking, traffic and pedestrian flows or any other matter can be submitted on the Skyline development website www.skylinedevelopment.co.nz.

Skyline has provided QLDC with potential design options for Brecon Street and suggested a QLDC-led Brecon Street working party be established. This would ensure all interested parties are consulted and included in the decision-making process.

The proposed development is one of the most significant investments Skyline has made since the current gondola system was installed in 1987 and is driven by accommodating anticipated growth in visitor numbers to Queenstown over the next 30 years.

Initially estimated to cost $60 million, Skyline now expects the investment will be in the vicinity of $100m.

“This investment demonstrates great confidence in the future of Queenstown as New Zealand’s No.1 tourism destination. Skyline is committed to undertaking this project in a balanced and considered manner so that everyone benefits,” Mr Quickfall says.

 

Media Release - August 18, 2016

Skyline Queenstown lodges consent application for its $60m gondola redevelopment

Skyline Queenstown is a step closer to starting its proposed $60 million gondola redevelopment with its application for resource consent lodged this week.

Coinciding with the consent application, Skyline has today unveiled pictures of what the new iconic complex will look like when complete in 2018.

The application to Queenstown Lakes District Council is publicly-notified and contains details of the extensive work required for the project. The proposed development includes the replacement of its gondola, as well as a major expansion of its upper complex and a brand new lower terminal building.

Skyline Queenstown General Manager Lyndon Thomas says community support for the project has been overwhelming since unveiling plans in June. Public information boards remain on display at the complex and updates are available at www.skylinedevelopment.co.nz.

“We’ve been taking an open consultative approach to this project and we’re in regular contact with affected parties and stakeholders. We’ve been keeping them up-to-date with our plans as they progress,” Thomas says.

“We are very happy with the progress and positivity within the community. Our team is working very hard to ensure that we stay on track for a July 2018 completion of the gondola. It’s pleasing to see that we are getting good feedback from the community, industry, our guests and team members as to how they want to see our offering in the future.”

The proposed development is one of the most significant investments Skyline has made since the current gondola system was installed in 1987 and is driven by accommodating anticipated growth in visitor numbers to Queenstown over the next 30 years.

“We believe the Skyline development is important for the Queenstown community and the future tourism landscape. We know Queenstown’s visitor numbers will accelerate by 2030 and we are dedicated to providing infrastructure that will accommodate this growth. It’s an investment for Skyline, our local community and the tourism industry,” Skyline Enterprises Chairman Mark Quickfall says.

As the tourism company prepares to mark its 50th year of operation in 2017, Skyline’s development project involves: Replacing its existing four-seat gondola system with a 10-seat gondola system; expanding the capacity of its restaurant, Stratosfare, from 330 seats to 650 in a flexible configuration for multiple dining options; expanding the panoramic viewing deck from 68sq m to 430sqm and almost doubling its capacity for conferences and events to cater for up to 1000 delegates in purpose-built facilities. 

 

Media Release - June 2, 2016

Skyline Queenstown announces major development plans

Skyline Queenstown has today announced an estimated $60 million redevelopment of its iconic facility, one of the most significant investments Skyline has made since the current gondola system was installed in 1987.

The proposed development includes the replacement of its gondola and Luge chairlift, as well as a major expansion of its upper complex and a brand new lower terminal building in order to accommodate the anticipated growth in visitor numbers over the next 30 years.

As the tourism company prepares to mark its 50th year of operation in 2017, Skyline is proposing to: replace its existing four-seat gondola system with a state-of-the-art 10-seat gondola; expand the capacity of its restaurant, Stratosfare, from 330 seats to 650 in a flexible configuration for multiple dining options; replace the existing two-seater chairlift that services the Skyline Luge with a four-seat chair; expand the panoramic viewing deck from 68m2 to 430m2 and almost double its capacity for conferences and events to cater for up to 770 delegates in purpose-built facilities.

With more than 787,000 people using the gondola each year, the current system is, at times, reaching its capacity of 1100 guests per hour. A new 10-seat gondola is expected to take up to 3000 guests per hour, with the number of gondola users projected to nearly double by 2030.

Skyline Enterprises chairman Mark Quickfall says the development is an important investment for the future tourism landscape as it will accommodate ongoing growth for many years to come.

“This development is about future-proofing Skyline Queenstown as a premium tourist attraction and ensuring it delivers to a world-class standard. As well as accommodating higher visitor numbers, it will feature one of the most technologically advanced gondola systems available, cutting down wait times at the base terminal and improving the overall guest experience. It’s going to benefit every gondola user – whether they’re coming up to enjoy the incredible scenery from our viewing deck, access world-class mountain biking trails and other tourism businesses or experience Skyline Queenstown’s famous Luge, great hospitality and star-gazing.”

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler says: “Queenstown already offers visitors some of the most spectacular views and scenery in the world. The state-of-the-art Skyline Queenstown Development Project is about providing a built environment that does justice to its magnificent setting. This development represents the kind of vision and thinking we need to see more of to ensure our visitors continue to have an exceptional visitor experience in New Zealand.”

The Skyline facilities are being designed by award-winning architect Michael Wyatt. “The new base terminal building, which houses the gondola cabins when they’re not in use, will be a striking sculptural machine hall with a transparent ground floor. The movement of gondolas will be seen as coming and going through the glass and up the hill. The building will become a landmark by virtue of its function and importance to Queenstown,” he says.

“The extension of the existing Skyline complex must remain sympathetic to the landscape. This building, when viewed from town, will give a similar impression to the current complex on Bob’s Peak, but it will be adjusted to make it more interesting,” Wyatt adds.

In order to complete the gondola replacement, Skyline Queenstown must close for 8-12 weeks – proposed for autumn 2018. Skyline Queenstown general manager Lyndon Thomas says about 80% of construction work will occur either side of the temporary closure, however every effort will be made to ensure the day-to-day running of the gondola, Luge or dining options, mountain biking, and other tourism businesses won’t be affected. 

All neighboring businesses and affected parties are currently being – and will continue to be – consulted about the project in an effort to mitigate any potential issues.

“This is an exciting project for Skyline Queenstown; it is a one-in-30-year development so it is very important to us that we get it right,” Thomas says. “This development represents our passion and our vision for Skyline continuing to be a world-class leisure experience that adds to the amenity of Queenstown, for both locals and visitors. Most importantly, we’re dedicated to creating something that the community, local businesses and shareholders will be proud of.”

A resource consent application for the development is expected be lodged with Queenstown Lakes District Council later this month. All going well, it is hoped the project will commence in March 2017.

Skyline Queenstown is inviting locals to find out more about the project over two public information sessions onsite this month. Residents pre-registering at www.skylinedevelopment.co.nz and providing proof of their local address will get a free gondola ride to the Skyline Queenstown complex and will be able to view information panels and speak to management about the project. The sessions will be held on Wednesday, June 15 from 5-6pm and Thursday, June 16 from 10-11am.