A world-class Queenstown gondola proposal has been announced by investment and development company Porter Group Ltd (PGL). The gondola is planned to link Queenstown’s Remarkables Park to The Remarkables alpine recreation area.
Operating in all four seasons, the proposed $50m, 9.8km gondola will operate from a Gondola Events Plaza adjacent to Remarkables Park Town Centre and link to NZSki’s new base building at The Remarkables.
The project is described as a “significant” investment in regional and national tourism infrastructure.
Porter Group chairman and former Queenstown Chamber of Commerce president Alastair Porter said tourism was “immensely important” for New Zealand, and recognized that Queenstown played a key role in attracting tourists to the country.
“However we live in a world where tourism is highly competitive, and it’s extremely important for New Zealand to continue to invest in major tourist infrastructure to keep refreshing and enhancing our international appeal,” he said.
The proposed gondola will be an exhilarating ride combining spectacular scenery including the Shotover and Kawarau rivers, a high country station, steep alpine terrain, panoramic vistas out to the Southern Alps and the magic of the famous Remarkables.
The gondola is based on a design by Leitner Poma, one of the world’s most experienced gondola and chairlift companies.
It will provide a way for tourists to enjoy Queenstown’s extraordinary setting while at the same time preserving the environment. This includes the gondola using ‘recessive’ colours and being carefully sited for minimal impact.
The design accesses The Remarkables recreation area, without having to cross the iconic western face of The Remarkables. It achieves this by following a route across Remarkables Park and the Kawarau River through Queenstown Park Station and the Rastus Burn Valley before arriving at NZSki’s new base facility building.
Mr Porter said Queenstown and New Zealand tourism had benefitted “enormously” from massive investments made by the Davies’ family in Queenstown’s alpine sports facilities, culminating in the new 6-seater Curvey Basin chairlift at The Remarkables and its stunning new base building.
He said the gondola would also further enhance Queenstown’s appeal as an international four-season destination by enabling sightseers, hikers, climbers, mountain bikers and wedding couples or conference and incentive groups looking for an unforgettable venue to visit The Remarkables in spring, summer and autumn.
“The gondola will also integrate well with the proposed Convention Centre at Remarkables Park Town Centre,” said Mr Porter.
“The two facilities will front onto a Gondola Events Plaza, as will adjacent future hotels. The gondola plaza will connect to the Remarkables Park Town Centre’s retail outlets, cafés, bars and restaurants, all capable of servicing large volumes of tourists and locals.”