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Hotel strikes gold

Millennium Queenstown can claim it’s the resort’s greenest hotel by becoming the first to reach Qualmark Green’s highest-ranking Enviro-Gold status.

Only 50 of 240 New Zealand tourism businesses accredited in Qualmark Green’s first year have made the gold standard.

The award recognises “an enormous team effort concentrating on all aspects of the environmental requirements set by Qualmark”, says Millennium boss John Clark.

All staff have volunteered time working at Pigeon Island on Lake Wakatipu, while a worm farm at Millennium’s sister hotel Copthorne is a pilot for local accommodation providers – worm juice is used to fertilise Millennium’s gardens.

Time to go

Property manager Hayley Stevenson has sold her 50 per cent share in Queenstown Accommodation Centre to shareholding partner Locations Realty.

Named Real Estate Institute of NZ property manager of the year for the past two years, Stevenson joined QAC as manager in 1994 and bought into the business four years later.

“It’s time to move on to pursue new personal and business goals,” she says.

Chopper topper

Queenstown’s Over The Top Helicopter Company has picked up top accolades for its longstanding safety record.

The firm won four awards at the recent Aviation Industry Association conference, including a gold award for consistent safety records as defined by the Civil Aviation Authority for longer than 15 years.

Owner and chief pilot Louisa “Choppy” Patterson also won gold, and senior pilots Stephen Beck and Stuart Robertson received silver awards. The 23-year-old company hasn’t had an accident in its entire history, Patterson says.

Winter Fest hooks Taupo prize

Fresh from delivering the 35th Queenstown Winter Festival, outgoing director Sally Feinerman (left) and sponsorship manager Mandy Kennedy hold the prize for Best Established Event, presented at the annual NZ Association of Event Professionals awards in Taupo last Thursday.

The other category finalist was the annual Motatapu 50km mountain bike/off-road marathon from Wanaka to Arrowtown.