Destination Queenstown’s former boss has quietly revisited the resort on business – just a month after his shock resignation to return to Brisbane, Australia.
Stephen Pahl, who left DQ citing family, health and business reasons, wasted little time picking up another tourism job.
He’s now sales and marketing executive consultant for Oaks Hotels and Resorts, which manages more than 40 accommodation properties in Australia, New Zealand and United Arab Emirates – its head office is on the Sunshine Coast near Brisbane.
Pahl returned to Queenstown two weeks ago to familiarise himself with the company’s two local properties, Oaks Shores and Oaks Club Resort – both developed by troubled apartment king Ross Wensley.
Both properties are “certainly a very important part of the mix for us”, he told Mountain Scene before arriving in Queenstown.
He’d just inspected Oaks properties in Auckland and Christchurch, and following Queenstown was headed for remote Broome, Western Australia, where his company runs another property.
Interviewed the day before he resigned from DQ, Pahl told Mountain Scene his “relationship with Queenstown will be continuing”.
He’d had to quit, he said, because his wife’s two Brisbane retail businesses hadn’t sold, he’d suffered “recent temporary health issues” and there were “some specific issues related to our family which have caused us a lot of grief”.
More than 45 applications were received for DQ’s top job by last Friday’s deadline – acting chief Ken Matthews hopes to make an offer to the successful candidate by the end of the year.