Green light for Queenstown development
Skyline Queenstown has received the green light from the Environment Court to proceed with a multi-million dollar redevelopment project. The ambitious project includes an expansion of the upper Gondola complex, a new state-of-the-art gondola system and new lower terminal building on Brecon St. Consent to build a five-storey, 449-space car park near the base terminal has also been approved.
Pre-construction work’s expected to begin this year, with the aim of the project being completed in late 2022. While no estimated cost has been provided, it was put at around $60million in 2016.
Skyline Queenstown general manager Wayne Rose says they are thrilled with the resource consent decision and look forward to developing a world-class facility that New Zealanders can be proud of. “This is a fantastic result for the Queenstown community and the New Zealand tourism industry as a whole,” he says. “This project is vital to ensure we cater to the demand of our visitors, as well as providing a premium facility that Queenstown locals can use and enjoy. It will enable us to step into the future not only as one of NZ’s most popular leisure facilities, but as one of the world’s top leisure tourism attractions.”
Skyline Enterprises chairman Mark Quickfall adds: “The resource consent approval is one of the first steps in an exciting development and we would like to acknowledge the efforts our teams have put in to accomplish this. The planners, architects, consultants, legal team, neighbouring businesses – in particular the Kiwi Birdlife Park – as well as the submitters who provided support for the project have all been integral in achieving a successful outcome.”
Skyline Queenstown has been working closely with neighbouring businesses, particularly Kiwi Birdlife Park to minimise disruption to the kiwis and the park throughout the redevelopment.
The redevelopment of Skyline Queenstown – which is home to the Gondola, Luge, viewing deck and mountain biking tracks on Bob’s Peak – will increase the capacity for gondola passengers at the base terminal and improve the overall guest experience with additional services and amenities, the company says.
New 10-seat Doppelmayr cabins will be installed, and the new-and-improved complex will also feature a 650-seat restaurant with a flexible configuration for multiple dining options. Conference facilities to accommodate more than 700 guests, a new café and additional retail space are included in the plans.
Since Skyline’s inception, the primary motivation for visitors to the attraction has been to see the iconic view, the company says. To facilitate this the viewing deck will be significantly increased from 68m2 to 430m2, offering even more angles to capture what is possibly the most photographed view in the southern hemisphere, it says.
Detailed planning is already well underway to incorporate the conditions identified in the resource consent approval.
“The feedback we have received on the redevelopment from the wider Queenstown community, the New Zealand tourism industry and our stakeholders and many customers has been overwhelmingly positive and we are grateful for the support,” Wayne Rose says. “As we move forward with the project, we plan to keep everyone informed, every step of the way.”
In 2016 former general manager, Lyndon Thomas, predicted the number of people who use the gondola would nearly double by 2030 to one and a half million a year. About half of all Queenstown visitors visited the Skyline facility, he said.