By PHILIP CHANDLER
When two local businessmen open Queenstown’s City Cave Float & Wellness Centre this coming Saturday, it’ll also be a personal milestone for a former local.
That’s Brisbane-based franchisor Tim Butters, who grew up in Queenstown and went to Wakatipu High.
The 37-year-old, whose first job was delivering Mountain Scene, worked for his parents’ tile shop before moving to Aussie just over 15 years ago.
After working in tiling/stone masonry, he dabbled in two other industries including importing manchester from China.
In need of ‘‘career and life renovation’’, a friend suggested he try floatation therapy.
‘‘I felt a little bit uncomfortable going there, but then came out absolutely loving it, it was just absolutely the best experience for me, hands down.’’
With a business partner he then opened City Cave in Brisbane five years ago, putting up all their cash and capital.
After trading for a year, they opened a second Brisbane outlet.
‘‘One of our customers came to us, she’s a very experienced franchisee, and said, ‘I want to be your first franchisee’.
‘‘So we went down the path of franchising and never looked back.’’
Fast-forward to last year, and local builders Riki Hunter and Luke Hutchinson, who do business with Butters’ parents’ tile shop, were thinking of opening a health and wellness centre.
Hunter says after talking to Butters and his business partner, ‘‘it was then a no-brainer to
become City Cave franchisees’’.
‘‘They have a proven business model, and after getting to know the guys personally we realised we shared a lot of the same core values and business goals.’’
Butters, who’s only met the duo over Zoom, calls them ‘‘a breath of fresh air’’.
‘‘We see ourselves in those guys.
‘‘My business partner’s a builder by trade and I’m a tiler/stonemason and these guys are
builders as well.’’
Queenstown’s City Cave, opening at Remarkables Park on March 13, is the 17th franchise
and first outside Australia — it will have three private sauna and three private float rooms plus three massage rooms.