Skyline hotshot’s national award


A QUEENSTOWN tourism hotshot who developed Skyline’s mountain bike park has won a national award.
Brad Rowe, 24, was named the Tourism Industry Association trainee of the year at the inaugural annual awards night, held in Wellington.
Rowe now works as mountain biking co-ordinator for Skyline, managing the department he helped establish as a trainee.
“It’s pretty exciting,” he says.
“They touched on the reasons at the awards night. It’s a new market and we’ve created something unique.
“What was originally a trial has now become a permanent part of the business. It’s valuable to the Queenstown economy and a resource for locals, somewhere to come and play after work and at the weekends.”
Rowe also won the modern apprentice of the year award at Friday’s event. The “A+” awards are co-ordinated by the ATTTO – the industry training organisation.
TIA chief executive Tom Cossar says: “He has a ‘go for it’ attitude and a passion for tourism.
“He has shown strong leadership skills in setting up and managing this new department for Skyline.
“With mountain biking he is in the right place at the right time in a growing niche market. I am sure he will achieve great things and go on to hold senior positions in the sector.”
Rowe, originally from Nelson, was among 140 New Zealand tourism industry employees who completed national qualifications through ATTTO between July 2010 and June.
The Skyline mountain bike park has been at the centre of a local boom in the sport, with riders now able to access the Bob’s Peak tracks using the gondola.
Rowe says: “The timing of Skyline to make the decision to get into biking has almost been perfect – it’s peaking in Queenstown and throughout New Zealand.
“It has so much potential. We’re lucky because we’re near the centre of town and can keep the gondola open in the evenings so people can come after work and make good use of their bikes, while getting some exercise too.”