A function last month marked 15-year milestones for three Whakatipu hotel bosses.
Mark Rose, chief executive of Queenstown’s The Rees, Jim Moore, GM of Queenstown’s Novotel, and Brian Howie, director of operations for Arrowtown’s Millbrook Resort, who was originally HR manager, all started in 2008 during the global financial crisis.
Latterly, the trio have weathered not just Covid but also the difficult aftermath including challenges finding staff and then housing them.
Rose says, ‘‘I’m told we’re New Zealand’s most-awarded hotel, which is a huge reflection on the people I’ve worked with over the years’’.
‘‘So it’’s been a hell of a ride.’’
In his time here he says Queenstown’s become a world-class destination, with the food and beverage offering, in particular, having ‘‘improved incredibly’’.
Moore says he was originally on a two-year contract — ‘‘they said, ‘you might get three [years], maximum four’’’.
He’s welcomed the continuity, however, saying when he arrived his 10-year-old daughter, then, had already lived in five places.
He’s worked under three owners in his time — ‘‘that always comes with its own challenges’’.
Despite the post-Covid challenges — ‘‘last year I was probably as close to broken as I could be’’ — things are a lot better now.
‘‘Things are looking pretty good for next year as well, so, yeah, we’re pretty happy.’’
Howie says he’s loved every minute at Millbrook.
‘‘There’s always challenges, but look, I think we’ve got a great team.
‘‘And Queenstown has always been in a position to tackle these and work together as a community, and that’s one of the great things about living and working here.’’