Hospo personality checks out

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Doug Champion served in Queenstown’s hospitality industry for more than four decades. Before leaving for Cromwell last week, he shared with Philip Chandler some career highlights and took aim at the direction the town’s heading.

Forty-five years after arriving, one of Queenstown’s hospitality characters shifted away last week, disillusioned with the way the town’s going.

Doug Champion and long-time partner Jo Wisnesky, who’ve run Amity Lodge Motel & Apartments for the past 13 years, have moved to Cromwell after selling their lease and management rights.

Best known as Britannia Restaurant’s lively, wise-cracking former frontman, the 68-year-old says: “I love Queenstown, I love tourism, I’ve had a great life here, but I didn’t come here for a city life, I came for a country life and that’s changed so much.”

He recalls the town only had about 3000 residents when he arrived in 1973.

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