Crowne Plaza Queenstown welcomes new F&B Manager

Media Release from Crowne Plaza Queenstown Premier lakefront hotel, Crowne Plaza Queenstown, has welcomed Catherine Bodnar to the position of Food and Beverage Services Manager. New Zealand-born Catherine Bodnar, 25, has returned to the resort town of Queenstown, where she previously obtained a Diploma in Hospitality Management at Queenstown Resort College (QRC). After working in the…

“Coming back to Queenstown is like coming home for me,” she says. “I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with my team to drive results and deliver exceptional guest experiences.

“It’s exciting to work in a location that’s on the map internationally for its wine products, food offerings and hospitality scene.”

Her new role sees her managing day-to-day food and beverage operations, banquets for the conference and incentive market, and overseeing 20 staff.

Catherine is a graduate of the highly regarded IHG Future Leader Programme, an intensive management programme training candidates to acquire junior management roles in all operational departments.

The exclusive programme only accepts ten candidates each year throughout Australasia.

Over the past two years, Catherine’s broadened her management experience at Holiday Inn Auckland Airport as Banquets Operations Manager before she was promoted to Restaurant and Bar Manager.

Originally from Wellington, Catherine is no stranger to a Kiwi adventure.

In her spare time, she’s looking forward to re-acclimate her adventurous lifestyle to the outdoorsy atmosphere in Queenstown.

“I can’t wait to take advantage of the huge range of activities on offer!” she says.

“Soaking up the scenery on Central Otago’s bike trails, exploring the South Island’s idyllic surf spots, and skiing the local ski fields are all top of my list.”

Catherine’s passion for Queenstown and the industry has been welcomed by Crowne Plaza Queenstown’s acting general manager Sam Swaffield.

“Catherine’s enthusiasm is second to none and we look forward to supporting her in her first senior management role,” he says.

“At the age of just 25 she’s already got a huge range of experience under her belt.”

Click here to visit Crowne Plaza Queenstown’s website.

Photo caption:

1/ Crowne Plaza Queenstown’s new Food and Beverage Services Manager Catherine Bodnar

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Finishing holes at Millbrook Resort promise big finish for ISPS Handa New Zealand Open

Media Release from ISPS Handa New Zealand Open Organisers believe a reconfigured Millbrook Resort will provide an exciting finish to the upcoming ISPS Handa New Zealand Open in Queenstown. Millbrook Resort, which comprises three nine-hole configurations, is the tournament co-host for the 93rd ISPS Handa New Zealand Open on 9-12 March. Two signature holes from the…

“The new layout will create a superb finish and ensure a spectacular spectator experience,” said Millbrook Resort’s Brian Spicer.

The tournament organisers have turned the current final hole of the Coronet Nine to the 17th hole, to be followed by the finishing 18th hole which is the current 9th hole on the Arrow Course.

“We will finish with a reachable par-5 over water as the 17th and a par-3 which is virtually surrounded by water as the 18th, which should add drama to the conclusion,” said Mr Spicer.

“The 18th hole is a relatively straight-forward par-3 but in a tournament like this, you never can tell. It all came down to the last few holes at The Hills last year, proving anything can happen at the close of a tournament.

“It has the potential to be an eagle-3 and birdie-2 finish or dependant on conditions and the situation, it can just as easily be a bogey-6 and double bogey-5. The nerves could tell.”

The first two days of the tournament will be played on both Millbrook Resort and The Hills, with the final two rounds at Millbrook Resort.

Tournament Director Michael Glading is delighted with the course layout plans for the 93rd ISPS Handa New Zealand Open.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to have two great courses to showcase our National Open, and look forward to an exciting event,” he said.

“The configuration of the final two holes at Millbrook Resort will bring new drama to the event.

“The 18th hole at The Hills has been pivotal to the final showdown in previous years, and we’re confident that by creating two climatic holes we’ll add a real sense of theatre this year.”

Two New Zealand Open champions, who won the Brodie Breeze Trophy six times between them, were master-minds of Millbrook Resort’s layout. The original 18-hole course was designed in 1993 by golfing legend Sir Bob Charles, a four-time New Zealand Open winner.

Local Queenstown former professional Greg Turner, the 1989 and 1997 Open champion, designed the Coronet Nine in 2009 and remodelled the existing 18-hole course.

The ISPS Handa New Zealand Open is a NZ$1 million Tier One event on the PGA Tour of Australasia, in partnership with the Japan Golf Tour. The 2017 event will be played in Queenstown at Millbrook Resort and The Hills on 9-12 March.

Click here to visit ISPS Handa New Zealand Open’s website.

Photo caption:

1/ 18th hole for 2017 ISPS Handa New Zealand Open at Millbrook Resort Queenstown

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Local golfers jump at chance to play in ISPS Handa New Zealand Open

Media release from ISPS Handa New Zealand Open Tournament co-host Millbrook Resort is giving local golfers the chance to win a coveted spot playing inside the ropes against their golfing heroes at the 2017 ISPS Handa New Zealand Open. The 2017 Millbrook Resort ISPS Handa New Zealand Open Challenge is open to competitors from local golf…

Entry to each of the golf club events is free and each club decides who plays – although the winner must have a registered maximum handicap of no more than 18. An overall club winner at each of the seven courses will be drawn at completion of play from participants who score 30 stablefords or more.

The winning golfers will compete in an exciting “play off” on the final hole of Millbrook Resort’s Coronet Nine on Saturday February 25 to decide who takes home the ultimate prize.

The winning prize includes a minimum of two days’ play at Millbrook Resort and The Hills golf courses during the 2017 tournament. The six remaining club winners will each receive a round of golf for two at Millbrook Resort, with carts included.

Millbrook Challenge Tournament Director Allan McKay is delighted to be organising the 2017 Open Challenge.

“Playing in the biggest and most prestigious golf tournament held in New Zealand, alongside masters of the game, is an opportunity that local golfers’ can only dream of!” he said.

“It’s fantastic to see keen golfers go head-to-head each year at their home clubs for the coveted spot.

“I’m sure there will be more than a little tension in air when the top seven players meet at Millbrook Resort next month for the ‘play off’.”

The winning player from each club must be available for the play off (February 25) and the days of play in the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open. The winning spot cannot be given away or replaced with a substitute player.

The ISPS Handa New Zealand Open is a NZ$1 million Tier One event on the PGA Tour of Australasia, in partnership with the Japan Golf Tour. The 2017 event will be played in Queenstown at Millbrook Resort and The Hills on 9-12 March.

Click here to visit ISPS Handa New Zealand Open’s website.

Photo caption:

1/ Millbrook Resort Queenstown is the official home of the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open

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Japanese stars to add major competition to ISPS Handa New Zealand Open

Media Release from ISPS Handa New Zealand Open Some of Japan’s best golfers are set to make their presence felt at the 93rd ISPS Handa New Zealand Open in Queenstown in March. More than 20 Japanese and Korean players from the Japan Tour have confirmed to date for the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open to…

Amongst the Japanese contingent confirmed for Queenstown are leading players Yusaku Miyazato, Shunsuke Sonoda, Toshinori Muto, Yoshi Fujimoto, Daisuke Kataoka and Ryutaro Nagano.

While these players may not be household golfing names in New Zealand, the sextet have secured 16 wins between them on the Japan Golf Tour, and combined career earnings of around NZ$26million.

What is more, their average age is just 31 years, so they are just finding their best form in the game.

Sonoda and Fujimoto finished in the top five last year and look likely to contend again at the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open.

Leading the way is Miyazato, the 36-year-old who has three wins to his credit and over NZ$7million in earnings. He was second on the Japan OOM in 2015 and fought back well last year after a slow start.

Muto, also 36, has six career wins to his credit with six top-10s in 2016 including runner up in the Japan PGA Championship and total earnings approaching NZ$7million.

The excitement machine is 28-year-old Kataoka, who defies his diminutive 67kg frame with some big performances in 2016 led by victory in the Top Cup Tokai Classic and runner-up efforts in the Fujisankei Classic and The Crowns among his nine top-10 finishes for the year.

His performances pushed him to sixth on the Japan Order of Merit, with Muto 13th and Fujimoto 15th with seven top-10s including four in a row.

While the tournament has attracted plenty of well-known golf names from New Zealand and Australia especially, along with USPGA Champion Y.E. Yang, the Japanese contingent will no doubt provide plenty of fireworks.

The ISPS Handa New Zealand Open is a NZ$1 million Tier One event on the PGA Tour of Australasia, in partnership with the Japan Golf Tour, to be played in Queenstown at Millbrook Resort and The Hills on 9-12 March.

Click here to visit ISPS Handa New Zealand Open’s website.

Photo caption (Photosport):

1/ Daisuke Kataoka, in action at Millbrook Resort last year, returns after finishing sixth on the Japan Tour Order of Merit in 2016

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Fox begins golf campaign towards New Zealand Open success

Media Release from ISPS Handa New Zealand Open Rio Olympic golfer Ryan Fox makes a busy start this week to life on the European Tour with a two-month block that he hopes will be culminate in victory in the 2017 ISPS Handa New Zealand Open. The 29-year-old makes his debut on to the European Tour in…

While he knows this opening span of games is a big ask, he would like nothing more than to add his name to the Brodie Breeze Trophy when the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open is decided at Millbrook Resort, Queenstown on March 12 2017.

“I would love to have my name on that trophy. That could be tough with my travel schedule but sometimes it is good to go in with no expectations – I can go out and if it works it works and if it doesn’t then Queenstown is an awesome place to spend a week regardless,” Fox said.

He begins his venture on the European Tour at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, followed by the Qatar Masters and Dubai Desert Classic. He returns home for a few days before playing at the ISPS Handa World Super 6 in Perth and two tournaments in South Africa before returning to Queenstown.

“I always hope to put the New Zealand Open on my schedule every year. It will be tough coming back from two weeks in South Africa and I won’t get down to Queenstown until late on Tuesday but I am happy I can make it back in time.

“I have played Millbrook and The Hills many times and therefore I don’t need to play a practice round.”

Fox believes his game is more suited to Millbrook which will help his chances.

“You get to hit driver a little more at Millbrook. As long as I hit driver straight, that is an advantage for me,” he said.

“Both are great golf courses. I have been hit and miss around the greens at The Hills – I find them hard to read. So going to Millbrook for the final two rounds might help me.

“First of all, I want to make a good start to my life on the European Tour. I would love to come home with some good performances under my belt and take some real confidence into the New Zealand Open.”

The ISPS Handa New Zealand Open is a NZ$1 million Tier One event on the PGA Tour of Australasia, in partnership with the Japan Golf Tour, to be played in Queenstown at Millbrook Resort and The Hills on 9-12 March.

Click here to visit ISPS Handa New Zealand Open’s website.

Photo caption (Photosport):

1/ Ryan Fox in action

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Olympic and World Medallist Swaps Shot Put For Golf Clubs

Media Release from ISPS Handa New Zealand Open Olympic shot put medallist Tom Walsh is taking some time out in his early-season competition phase for his new-found passion of golf. The 24-year-old World Indoor Champion and Rio Olympic bronze medallist, will take part in the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open at Millbrook Resort and The Hills…

Walsh, currently training for upcoming summer season in New Zealand and Australia, has become a golfing tragic and the game is an important part of his “downtime” especially when he is based overseas.

The Christchurch-based athlete got the golfing bug from his coach Dale Stevenson and strength and conditioner John Wilson.

“They are both very good golfers on low single figure handicaps. We are away for large parts of the year and in the downtime they would play golf,” Walsh said. “I started to play two years ago and I’ve definitely caught the golf bug.”

Walsh is now a 12 handicapper and a member, along with his coaching team, at Christchurch Golf Club “where they have been really welcoming.”

“I am looking forward to playing at Millbrook and The Hills. I’ve never played those courses yet. I guess I might be more nervous than when I am competing in my shot put.”

Walsh said he and his coaches have strict rules when they play.

“There is a fair bit of banter of course. But we are not allowed to talk shop when we are on the course. For me it is completely different than my sport and its fun.

“I really enjoy the technical aspects and the mental side of the game and of course the rivalry with my coaches.”

No doubt there will be more than just a little interest in just how far the 125kg super-strong athlete can hit the ball off the tee.

Tournament Director Michael Glading said he is thrilled that Walsh has accepted the invitation to play and will join a number of likely sporting celebrities who will be confirmed in the coming few weeks to take part in the New Zealand Open.

“This tournament not only boasts some world class golfers playing for $1 million dollars, but also 144 amateur players who get to play alongside the professionals,” said Glading.

“This unique format allows us to attract some world leaders in sport and business to join us in Queenstown for the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open. Adding sporting and other celebrities really adds an extra dimension to our unique event, and we are really pleased to have Tom come and join us this year.”

Other celebrities will be announced in the coming weeks.

Click here to visit ISPS Handa New Zealand Open’s website.

Photo caption (Photosport):

1/ Shot put star Tom Walsh will play in the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open

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A true taste of Italy comes to Queenstown’s Remarkables Park Town Centre

Media Release from Napoli Street Café and Pizzeria Italian eatery Napoli Street Café and Pizzeria has opened its doors to locals and visitors this week, serving true Neapolitan-style pizzas and street food from Naples. The new Italian pizzeria, located on the ground floor of Ramada Hotel & Suites at Remarkables Park Town Centre, uses quality local…

Owners Alberto Calabrese, originally from the Naples region, and Lucia Macedo from Brazil, have opened Napoli Street together with daughters Isabella and Adriana.

Experienced restaurateurs, Alberto and Lucia have worked in the hospitality industry for 25 years, and are “excited to introduce authentic Italian flavour” to the local community.

“Stunning coffee, authentic food and the friendly atmosphere of a family-owned business is offered, and locals and visitors can choose to dine in or take away,” says Alberto.

“Naples is the home of pizza. Many of the best pizzas in Naples are found in small places with queues running out the door – that’s what we want to achieve!

“We hope to join the AVPN – an association promoting “true Neapolitan pizza”. To meet the strict requirements, we’ll use typical ingredients from Italy including Le 5 Stagioni flour, renowned for making particularly ’elastic’ Neopolitan pizza dough, and La Bella San Marzano tomatoes grown in the Agro Nocerino region.”

The Italian pizzas will cook directly on the stone of the oven at 460 to 500 degrees for no more than 80 seconds. The Italian ingredients and cooking techniques will ensure authentic Neapolitan pizza.

“We’re currently finalising our street food menu which will launch later this week, and include family favourites – potato croquettes, suppli (a type of arancini), fried pasta and the traditional Cuoppo,” he says.

A Cuoppo is a cone filled with “fried goodies” that is traditionally eaten on the streets of Naples. Napoli Street’s speciality Cuoppi will be filled with calamari, prawns, zucchini and eggplant chips and sweet cinnamon dough balls.

The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch Sunday to Wednesday from 8am to 3pm, and breakfast, lunch and dinner from Thursday to Saturday from 8am to late.

Alberto says the family is passionate about sharing their “love of Naples”.

“A typical Naples street is depicted on the wall. This, paired with the smell of good coffee and an open kitchen for guests to watch us prepare pizzas creates the look and atmosphere we want to achieve.”

While Napoli Street Pizzeria is sure to be a hit for its pizzas, Alberto and his team are also putting considerable effort into producing the best Italian-style breakfasts in town, with melt-in-the-mouth croissants and brioche, and home-made paninis for breakfasts or lunch.

Alberto, Lucia and their family already operate the hugely popular Terra Mia Italian café and restaurant in Arrowtown’s main street, which they opened just six months ago.

Click here to visit Napoli Street Café and Pizzeria’s Facebook page.

Photo caption:

1/ Queenstown gets a taste of Naples at Napoli Street Café and Pizzeria

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