Farm for tourists

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Developer Alastair Porter may be going head to head with Walter Peak, after hinting at a large-scale agri-tourism venture on his Queenstown Park land.

Porter tells Mountain Scenehe can’t give away too many details yet, but says a tourism hub on land that would connect with his $100 million gondola project could be on the cards.

He’s given the project the moniker of “edu-tainment”.

“When people come here, they want to see our flora and fauna.

“Tourists shouldn’t have to go to Southland to see what a farm looks like.”

He referred to Rotorua’s Agrodome as an example of a larger-scale agri-tourism business, com-pared to Wal-ter Peak.

His comments followed a public meeting at Shotover Primary School on Monday night, where Porter sought to take the temperature of Shotover Country and Lake Hayes Estate residents on the gondola proposal.

Scene last week revealed details of the proposal, including the addition of a commuter station at Lake Hayes Estate and a cost blow-out from $50 million to $100 million.

At Monday’s meeting, Porter faced scrutiny over the prospect of people driving into Lake Hayes Estate to take advantage of the commuter option and the impact on recreation areas, but many in the 100-strong crowd appeared optimistic about the proposal in general.

Mayor Jim Boult, who also attended the meeting, told the crowd he too was keen on the idea.

“Council is really, really interested in this, terribly enthusiastic about finding different ways to get people around the district.

“We’re delighted to see good ideas being put on the table around that.”

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz