By PHILIP CHANDLER
Even local business leaders aren’t immune to job losses in this Covid-19-induced tourism crisis.
Skyline Queenstown commercial manager Craig Douglas is among the 50 per cent-plus of Skyline Enterprises’ 1200 or so staff made redundant across its New Zealand and international sites.
Douglas, who finished on Friday, is also chairperson of the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, which represents the resort’s business community.
Given that role, he admits his redundancy’s “a bit ironic, but these are special times”.
He’s been with Skyline, best known for its Queenstown gondola attraction, for four years, following six years as skifield operator NZSki’s sales and marketing GM.
Asked if he was shocked to lose his job, he says “once the borders were closed and the timelines became apparent, I knew that things were going to have to be pretty significantly different”.
“It wasn’t so much a shock, it was just something that was understandable.
“None of this is anybody’s fault.
“It’s certainly unfortunate for a lot of people, but businesses have made the decisions they need to make to survive.”
He notes the Chamber has had to go through the same exercise, with its chief executive Anna Mickell leaving at the end of the month as part of a cost-cutting drive.
Douglas, who is taking on a “very interim” part-time general manager’s role with the organisation, says “we’re all very positive about the future for the Chamber”.
“We’ve just got to navigate our way through the next few months, and then we’ll be in good shape.”
Meanwhile, he’ll look at job options “once things settle out a little bit”.
“I don’t really expect many options to present themselves in the short term, but I’m thinking by the time we get to spring, things could be starting to move.”