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Sea change for summer


Winter’s history and summer’s on the way as Paul Angus and Simon Smith complete the rapid-fire transformation of a Brecon Street business this week.

For five years, the jointly owned Browns Ski Shop and Vertigo Bikes have had seasonal changes between the two brands, with Browns now going into hibernation until mid-May 2010.

Shop manager Angus and head guide Smith wheeled 120 mountain bikes into the store – 80 are for sale and the rest are for trips and rentals.

Rich Lister’s bar buy-up


Rich Lister Shane Armstrong, who started the Grumpy Mole pub chain, is understood to have bought Queenstown’s Steamer Wharf ice bar Minus 5 and associated bar The Boiler Room from receivers.

Lender South Canterbury Finance put those bars and another five around NZ owned by Jonathan Botherway of Christchurch into receivership this winter.

Armstrong’s wealth is estimated at $50 million by National Business Review’s Rich List.

Two locals in final cut


the Hairdressing Industry Training Organisation has named local hair stylist Ria Wikio, 27, apprentice of the year for the bottom half of the South Island.

Wikio, who works for Arrowtown’s D’or Hair Stylists, is one of seven regional finalists for the national title to be awarded in Wellington next Saturday.

On the verge of her starting her third and final apprenticeship year, Wikio has travelled one day a week to Invercargill’s Southern Institute of Technology, where she was top student this year. The runner-up for the regional title was Lyn-Marie Harris from Queenstown’s Crew Haircutters.
Top-line online
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside won the “outstanding performer in New Zealand” title at annual awards presented in Sydney last week by the HotelClub booking website.

The 273-room property, extended and refurbished last year, had the highest number of room nights in NZ booked through the website.

Knight to remember


Wanaka-based business heavyweight Sir Tim Wallis will be guest speaker at Queenstown’s biennial Business Excellence Awards, organised by the local Chamber of Commerce.

Wallace is a pioneer of the live deer recovery industry in the South Island and built an aviation empire around helicopter operations.

“Sir Tim doesn’t undertake many speaking engagements these days and we are delighted he’ll be addressing our event,” Chamber boss Ann Lockhart says.

The awards will be presented at a gala dinner at the Millennium Hotel on November 27.

Architecture gong


An Arrowtown architect has won an award for a hot pools project nestled in Franz Josef forest.

Self-employed Maarten Hofmans, who runs Hofmans Architects, picked up the gong in the commercial section of the 2009 Canterbury Architecture Awards in Christ­church last night.

Hofmans says the challenge of the $6 million Glacier Hot Pools project was figuring out how to get components into the bush without clearing trees. Hofmans led the project and thanks former employer Dalman Architecture for assistance.