Jack’s Point Trail Run’s owner is fighting for his race as the Queenstown resort toughens up on events.
Andy Town, who’s organising his third annual run on September 2, says he’s recently been told by Jack’s Point management no other events are being approved and that he won’t be allowed to hold his race again.
In a letter to Jack’s Point Residents & Association (JPROA) chairman Mike Coburn, Town wrote: “This notice came as quite a shock and I was very disappointed given that there was no communication or consultation.
“This decision unfortunately now means that three years of my work has been destroyed.
“Not only this but also my other stakeholders, sponsors, charitable trusts and the local community are negatively impacted.”
In his reply, Coburn says use of Jack’s Point land is a privilege, not a right.
Continued growth at the resort means increased traffic on Lodge and Preserve Roads, and health and safety’s a major issue that his association takes seriously.
He adds that Town can apply to his committee for one more year but there’s no guarantee he’ll be successful.
Town tells Mountain Scene his scenic trail run – which attracted 320 runners last year and resulted in $1500 being split between dog rescue and suicide prevention charities – specifically stays away from roads apart from crossing Preserve Road at one point, and takes place in one of the safest environments to hold an event anywhere in the country.
“In the weekend there are no builders around, it’s literally a ghost town.”
Town says he’s refusing Coburn’s invitation to apply for one more year.
“This whole event was created to be an iconic event that would continue.”
He’s instead asking residents to put pressure on JPROA to overturn its events policy.
Coburn, who originally co-developed Jack’s Point, says there’s been an attitude from organisers “that perhaps you can have these events as of right, without consultation”.
He estimates there are now more than 600 Jack’s Point residents, bringing a greater number of vehicles.
“You can’t just expect to come charging around at will, so that’s why we’re just putting some controls around the whole thing, as would be the responsible thing to do.”
So will JPROA still allow events?
“That depends on what the event is, of course – we are a social community, after all.
“I’m not getting into any media debate with Mr Town.
“What I’m saying is that we have strict protocols that we apply in the interests of the greater community, and we’ll continue with that.”