Resort’s Golden Square’

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Sydney has its Golden Mile – the infamous red-light strip of Kings Cross – and Queenstown has its Golden Square, popular for a different reason. 

Foot traffic is at its highest in the downtown area bounded by Camp Street, Shotover St, Rees St, The Mall and upper Beach St – dubbed the resort’s ‘Golden Square’ by Colliers International Queenstown consultant John Scobie. 

Scobie, whose firm has just released its seventh annual Queenstown Pedestrian Count, says within the square there are no real vacancies. 

“There’s no question retailers want high pedestrian counts so they go for sites that have a high count,” Scobie says – and they pay more for the prime space. 

Rent for prime ground floor CBD space ranges from $1000 to $1500 per square metre per year, Mountain Scene’s been told. 

Scobie: “Once you move out [of the Golden Square] – even one street – you see rents decreasing and vacancies increasing.” 

Pedestrian numbers decrease in line with distance outside the Golden Square, he says. 

The latest count was conducted one autumn day with tallies of passers-by over three half-hour periods at 10am, 3pm and 8pm. 

There’s no surprise at the top of the table – Camp St outside McCafe takes the cake once again, as it has every year. 

The Shotover St pavement by Outside Sports has jumped two places to No.2, however, swapping slots with last year’s second placegetter, Camp St outside Just Jeans. 

The middle of The Mall by Amazon is another big mover at No.6 – up from 10th – as is The Mall outside Bendon, leaping to No.8 from 18. 

Amazon is on the sunny side of The Mall while Bendon is on the shady side. 

Scobie says completion of The Mountaineer building since last year’s pedestrian survey has resulted in jumps for pedestrians outside Kathmandu – and Kapa Design Gallery opposite. 

Construction continues to deter pedestrians in Church St, the Colliers count finds, but completion of the Nomads backpackers and a number of adjacent food and beverage retailers opening have seen “slight improvements” to foot traffic. 

Camp St outside Subway (No.3), BNZ in Rees St (No.5) and Whitcoulls in Upper Beach St (No.7) are all more or less unchanged. 

Warning that the Colliers count only provides “general trends”, Scobie nevertheless says this year’s tally is probably more reliable because counts in previous years have been skewed by construction clutter. 

“The pedestrian count is a useful background tool for us,” he says. 

“Yet rental levels are really determined by tenants – it’s a supply and demand thing,” Scobie believes.