Sunday, June 12, 2011

Biking park has great potential

By Tracey Roxburgh
Queenstown Times Monday 1st June

QUEENSTOWN had a ‘‘globally unique’’ asset in the Ben Lomond Forest mountain bike park which, in its inaugural season, has been hailed a ‘‘fantastic success’’.

Skyline Enterprises chief executive Jeff Staniland told the Queenstown Lakes District Council during draft annual plan submissions Skyline recorded 5000 riders, who completed 50,000 runs during its first season on the gondola assisted tracks — a number which would go up as the season extended in the 2011-12 summer, from September to April.

The track was opened for a trial four-month period in January and Skyline recorded 40% of users were international visitors. Of the New Zealand users, 40% were not local. The riders aged in range from 4-year-old twins to a 74-year-old. Even without promotion, the
‘‘publicity was huge’’. Included in the big names to use the tracks were the Atherton siblings, from the United Kingdom, along with New Zealand and German riders.

Mr Staniland told the council Skyline had committed to running a full season and based on last year’s figures, it could see up to 100,000 riders accessing the park.
‘‘There has been a lot of interest from tourism operators to package mountain biking into their products.

‘‘One Australian company told us they sold 8000 to Whistler out of Australia last year.

‘‘There could be
opportunities to create events. If we continue to develop it, we stand to create a community asset. ‘‘DQ has identified mountain biking as a strategic opportunity. ‘‘But if we are serious about Queenstown Incorporated, we need to see some sort of entity to manage the mountain bike park — a trust or an association.

‘‘It’s hard for us to go to a sponsor as Skyline and ask for money for something which isn’t ours.’’

Mr Staniland said Skyline had spent $500,000 on the trail, which included $150,000 on the construction of Hammy’s Trail, a 6km track around the outskirts of the forest. The company also tidied up many other tracks and removed
historic, dangerous tracks. Mr Staniland sought for a new association to be established, which would include council representation, to work together in developing the park and securing funding.

However, Wakatipu Trails Trust chief executive Kaye Parker said, when asked by Mayor Vanessa van Uden, that was not required.
The Trails Trust already collected funds on behalf of the Gibbston Community Association, destined for work on the likes of the Gibbston River Trail, and it was ‘‘not an issue’’ for it to collect funds on behalf of the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club or Skyline to be used on the mountain bike park.

When asked what Mrs Parker thought of another entity being established to help manage the Ben Lomond Forest, she said it was unnecessary. ‘‘Please don’t start another one. ‘‘Don’t spend any more
money . . . than you have already.’’

In a separate submission, the mountain bike club said it was ‘‘not dissimilar’’ to the trails trust, with a governance body comprising ‘‘like-minded members of the community’’.

‘‘To that end, the club supports the funding assigned to the Wakatipu Trails Trust through the annual plan process, but seeks this be increased.’’

The annual plan had set aside $20,000 for the club in the next financial year, which the club supported. While club spokesman Carey Vivian estimated the cost of Ben Lomond maintenance at $60,000 per annum, ‘‘we see that there are other opportunities to fundraise for that shortfall’’.
One idea was to ask bike-hire businesses and the like to contribute a $2 donation per bike towards the maintenance of the park.

‘‘Over eight months, the funds would add up.’’

Monday, May 30, 2011

More photos from the Queenstown Bike Festival

More photos from the Queenstown Bike Festival up now on I have uploaded a couple of hundred more images from the Super D, the Tour De Wakatipu and the Dirtmaster DH. Sorry about the delay with these foks, life has been busy! Patrick Fallon

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Media release from Skyline Queenstown

18th May 2011
Skyline Gondola to renew Mountain Bike access

Mark your calendars, Skyline Queenstown are planning to kick off a second season of
gondola access for mountain bikers in 2011/2012 once a management agreement has been
confirmed with Queenstown Lakes District Council. The second season, providing access to
Queenstown’s world class bike trails within the Ben Lomond Reserve, is planned to run for a
massive 8 months from September 2011 through to the end of April 2012*.

This longer season is expected to bring even more attention to Queenstown as bikers
continue to travel to fuel their demand for dirt, “We are very excited to be running a second
season of mountain biking and can’t wait to see the bike scene in Queenstown grow to reach
it’s full potential” Blair Deasy – General Manager, Skyline Queenstown.

In January 2011 Mountain Bike history was made when Skyline Queenstown opened New
Zealand’s only gondola accessed mountain bike lift. The lift has since hosted thousands of
riders within the 4 month trial season providing easy access to million dollar views and a
myriad of mountain bike trails. With the continuation of gondola access at Skyline the future of
mountain biking in Queenstown is set to take off.

More information to come soon…
For image requests please email
* Dates exclude:
25th December 2011 – 8th January 2012
6th – 9th April 2012

Monday, May 9, 2011

request from Kashi Leuchs

I have a request from Kashi Leuchs for any photos of him in Outside Sports Super D.

His team no was 71

He wants to use it to promote the festival