Queenstown Resort College and Central Otago wine pioneer Alan Brady were the two big winners at the resort’s biennial business awards last night.
QRC took top honours in the fiercely competitive Overall Supreme Business Award category of the Westpac Queenstown Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2012.
Brady – who introduced pinot noir to Gibbston Valley 31 years ago and created the region’s wine industry – was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
“When you’re having fun what you’re doing, you don’t think about things like this,” Brady says.
“That certainly applies to me. I’m very honoured and privileged to be in a room with so many inventive, entrepreneurial, hardworking and successful people.
“I’ve always said there’s something special about the atmosphere here in this wonderful mountain environment of ours. It attracts achievers.
“There’s a magic in these mountains. It’s a challenging environment of course – it isn’t a place for wimps. It attracts people with energy who enjoy challenges.”
More than 300 entrepreneurs, businesspeople, staff and dignitaries attended the gala awards dinner at the Millennium Hotel’s Galaxy Ballroom yesterday (Saturday).
QRC chief executive Charlie Phillips says: “I can’t over emphasise the value the staff have to QRC.
“I might be the one up here holding the award but it’s certainly down to their efforts. There’s no doubt about the calibre of the people we employ.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the students. The attitude those guys have and the way they conduct themselves around the community is something that almost humbles you.
“The energy that they give – if ever I’m having a bad day or getting frustrated in my office I just simply walk round the corridors of QRC. There’s a contagious energy from the staff and students.”
QRC also won the Professional Services category.
Printing, embroidery and promotional company Impact, in Queenstown for 23 years, won best Small to Medium Business, while Dr Sam Hazledine’s recruitment firm MedRecruit was judged best Medium to Large Business.
Eforea Spa at Hilton Queenstown won best New and Emerging Business and Rilean Construction took down the Trade and Construction category.
Bob’s Peak flying fox adventure firm Ziptrek Ecotours, run by Trent Yeo, won the Tourism, Activities and Events category while SkyCity Casino was judged to be the best in the Large Enterprise Hospitality and Accommodation sector.
Eichardt’s Private Hotel won the Small Enterprise Hospitality and Accommodation category.