Business South August 2022

36 | Wanting a slice of heaven? from page 34 The Gibbston Valley wine and cheese tour is a popular activity for tourists and locals alike. REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT Queenstown: Gibbston Valley Resort For all Boom and Line pumping needs • Concrete supply • Concrete placing Find us on Facebook! Contact us today at: Ph: 027 351 3324 Email: “We knew we needed some sort of accommodation to support tourism and the conference incentive market, but I also saw it as an opportunity to develop a very high-end lodge that we could use as a marketing tool for the resort.” The idea was that people would come and stay a few nights at the lodge, fall deeply in love with region’s craggy mountain ranges, easy access to good wine and locally produced food and want their own little slice of it. “So that was the intent of the Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa, which we built in 2019 — just in time for Covid-19. We’ve learned how to run that lodge with low numbers and it is still very profitable. The lodge portrays humble luxury. It’s relaxed and comfortable, and has an underlying quality to it, hinting at what life in the Resort would be all about.” Fast forward a year and we looked at the where the economy in New Zealand was sitting and recognised Kiwis could not travel overseas, and for Aucklanders in particular, Queenstown was their main holiday destination. Interest rates were around 2%. It just seemed that this was the time to launch the Resort, because of that ‘where am I going to invest my money, where can I go in New Zealand?’, factor. And that worked well.” But the question was how to launch a greenfield resort and position it as a quality high end product? “Well you have to have that brand behind it – which we did with Gibbston Valley. We also got Sir John Key as our spokesman and he also bought a property in the resort. That had huge impact and it worked. Brendon McCullum has also bought a property in the Vines – same thing, big impact.” Now wearing the cloak of Resort CEO, Greg says initial sales at the Resort have gone very well with 21 of the 33 north facing sections in the Reserve already sold and the remainder being slowly released to the market. Development of the next stage of premium quality sections will commence next year.“It has all gone very well. Gibbston Valley Resort really does offer something very special and very unique but it has been a very progressive journey to reach this point.”