NZSki’s bite bigger than bark

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Skifield giant NZSki is bidding to trademark the words ‘Dog Derby’ as its spat with Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival continues.

NZSki, which operates resort skifields Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, submitted a trademark application on March 28 to the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office.

The dog derby, along with other mountain events, was held at Coronet Peak and The Remarks for years during WinterFest.

But when rival mega-tourism firm Real Journeys became naming sponsor for Destination Queenstown’s annual winter opening bash this year, the decision was taken to move the events across the Crown Range to the skifield it owns, Cardrona.

NZSki boss Paul Anderson says of the trademark bid: “The idea for us is just to enable us to continue to run the dog derby in Queenstown into the future.

“It’s an event the team at Coronet have built over the last 43 years and we’re really passionate about it continuing in this community.”

This year’s ‘Winter Festival Monteith’s Dog Derby’ will be held at Cardrona on Friday, June 22.

Anderson says NZSki’s looking at holding its own.

“It’s been part of the fabric of Coronet Peak for a long time, and the staff and locals really care about it.

“We want to keep really clear of Winter Festival, we don’t want to get in their way, but we want to be able to carry on.”

The trademark, submitted by NZSki lawyers Lane Neave, would cover “organisation, arranging and hosting of competitions and games”; “provision of venues for sporting and entertainment services”; as well as promotion, advertising, and clothing.

Anderson says the company’s door is “totally” still open to WinterFest.

“We think Winter Festival would be better by including all the mountains in the region.

“We work with Destination Queenstown on a whole bunch of joint marketing activities and see Winter Festival as part of that.”

Asked if NZSki would stop WinterFest holding a dog derby if the trademark process is successful, Anderson says: “I can’t see it coming to that.”

Destination Queenstown boss Graham Budd declined to comment on the ‘Dog Derby’ trademark bid.

paul.taylor@scene.co.nz