By GUY WILLIAMS
Philanthropist and mountain biker Rod Drury’s promising $2 million to raise the standing of the Queenstown Lakes region as a world-class biking destination.
Drury tells Mountain Scene he’s working with bike sector businesses, not-for-profits and iwi to determine where the money will have the maximum impact.
‘‘We’ll be looking at everything from short-term trail maintenance needs through to much bigger, long-term economic development opportunities for the whole region.
‘‘We’re also excited to be continuing our work with iwi on a number of ecological projects
that’ll ensure native planting programmes around the trails, as well as looking for opportunities to share stories through trail naming and signage.’’
It’s clear biking is the next big opportunity for the Southern Lakes region, he says.
‘‘Accelerating the development of trails infrastructure provides an immediate benefit for locals, and puts us in a good position to attract riders from around the globe as borders
Queenstown Mountain Bike Club president Pete McInally says the money will be a huge
boost for the sector, and will give greater certainty of funding for the club’s trail projects.
It will also strengthen the club’s collaboration with the Queenstown Trails Trust, Queenstown’s council and Department of Conservation.
Destination Queenstown’s also renewing its focus on biking post-Covid, preparing a strategy document it consulted the sector on earlier this month, McInally says.
‘‘They’ve seen what bike’s doing and they’re jumping on board.’’