Spreading festive cheer

Photo caption from Five Mile Retail and Business Centre Lucky Queenstown local Hannah Fox has won hundreds of dollars’ worth of prizes in Five Mile retail centre’s first ever Christmas competition. The majority of the 40 businesses and stores located at the retail centre each donated two bundles of gifts to the competition, which ran over…

Collecting the charity bundle yesterday (Wednesday December 13) was Happiness House co-ordinator Niki Mason.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of Five Mile tenants,” she said.

“I’m overwhelmed by the huge trolley of prizes and can already picture everything going to a certain person or family. It will make their Christmas!

“We’ve seen an increase in families receiving gifts this year and it’s very heart-warming.

“Handing out our Christmas boxes is always a very emotional time, so we can’t thank Five Mile enough!”

Five Mile property manager Angela Davis said the management team was overwhelmed with the “amazing turnout” in entry forms.

“Tenants have been extremely generous in their donations,” she said.

“Happiness House is over the moon with what they’ve received today as part of their prize bundle. We’re honoured and delighted to work with such a worthy cause.”

Picture caption:

1/ Spreading festive cheer – Five Mile Centre management team Eric Nauta (L) and Angela Davis (R) and Happiness House co-ordinator Niki Mason with the donated gifts

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VisitorPoint, the ‘silently awesome’ company behind tourism brochure distribution

Media release from VisitorPoint In today’s digital age, you’d be forgiven for assuming that printed tourism brochures are a thing of the past. That’s where one thriving and growing New-Zealand based brochure distribution company has the facts and figures to prove otherwise. VisitorPoint is New Zealand’s only national distributor of tourism information, having distributed brochures…

Formerly known as Jasons, in December 2013 the company was bought by New Zealand businessman Geoff Spong of Bennetts Group.

Spong took a long, hard look at the business and in June 2015 ceased publishing to concentrate on its core business of distribution.

It fully re-branded as VisitorPoint in early 2016 and invested heavily in systems, a new mobile data collection app and a brand-new website and trade website. It now boasts an unrivalled, measurable network that operates the length and breadth of the country.

It has over 2000 physical display outlets nationally, and 30 staff including 19 high-profile merchandisers who are constantly on the road supplying its 36 distribution circuits.

No other business in New Zealand does what it does, especially with its speciality focus on the travel and tourism sector and its contract warehousing with data collection, dispatch and extensive reporting services offered to a wide range of businesses.

And the company is growing, with more staff in the pipeline and more than 10.5 million brochures distributed annually.

The good news for VisitorPoint is that even in this digital age, more than 38% of visitors use travel brochures as a primary source of information in New Zealand.

With offices in Queenstown, Christchurch and Auckland, the company boasts a combined 170-plus combined years’ experience within its staff. General Manager Kelly Harland has been with the business for over 19 years, and another seven have more than ten years each under their belt.

As Business Development Manager Jenni Powell says, it’s a “silently awesome” company that’s been growing and innovating somewhat under the business radar.

“That’s about to change,” she says.

“The growth of the business, our websites and our warehousing and distribution services, are a huge success in just two years, giving people an easy and accessible way to find all the information they need to sell New Zealand tourism.

“With 36 circuits plus an extensive online trade network, clients can ‘pick and mix’ where they want to be distributed, making it easy for tourists to find the information they need.

“We have over 700 titles listed on our trade website, and trade outlets such as the 80-plus i-SITE’s around the country can order their stock and keep track of what they need using our recording system.

“In the last two years the dispatch through our circuits and trade website has increased by 17%. We’re looking after over 900 titles nationally, all tourism brochures.

“We’ve had a fantastic year of growth, consolidation in some areas and getting the brand out there. We can’t wait for 2018 and what the year might bring.

“If we can grow our business, we can help grow yours.”

Picture caption:

1/ On the road – VisitorPoint’s high-profile merchandisers travel the length and breadth of the country. Image credit: Colin Walkington

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Arrowtown husband-and-wife team cap successful year with national recognition

Media release from Bennie Builders A Queenstown house has been recognised as one of the best in the country, signing off a successful year for the local building firm. Up against stiff competition from 16 other builders across New Zealand, Arrowtown-based Bennie Builders was the only Southern Lakes company to pick up a national title…

On the night, judges described the home as an outstanding example of fine workmanship, bringing the architect’s creative vision and the owners’ dream to life.

The iconic house peers over downtown Queenstown, towards Lake Wakatipu and the mountains beyond, like a pair of stylish cedar-clad binoculars.

Having also won a Gold and Local Category Award at the Southern Region Registered Master Builders House of the Year competition in July, husband-and-wife team James and Mia Bennie said they were “delighted” to take the house to the next level.

“A national award like this is not only a proud moment for Mia and I, but also for all the other ‘hammers and hands’ involved in the build,” said James.

“It’s a real inspiration to all our staff and subcontractors to know we’ve produced a multi-award-winning project, giving our team real recognition for their skills and craftsmanship.”

Described as a “tough competition” by Mia, the prestigious House of the Year celebrates building excellence in New Zealand.

“It’s fantastic to be able to demonstrate that we can match the highest level of industry excellence, but also be judged ‘the best’ in New Zealand in our category,” she said.

“Being recognised by an industry leader like Master Builders shines light on our commitment to our eye for detail for any given project, no matter the size, site or budget.”

From one award-winning property, they’ve got their sights on the next.

The seven-year-old company is now working on a large luxury renovation project for owner of Madam Woo and Rata Restaurants Fleur Caulton and her family in Queenstown.

With no time to bask in the afterglow of their win, they are also working on a Jacks Point home and a Threepwood home in Ladies Mile.

Picture caption:

1/ Peering out over Lake Wakatipu like a pair of cedar-clad binoculars – the award-winning home from Bennie Builders of Arrowtown

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Shine bright – LUMA seeks partnerships with Queenstown Business Community

Media release from LUMA Southern Light Project Enhancing and promoting the creative and cultural heart of Queenstown is at the core of the award-winning LUMA Southern Light Project. It’s run by a group of dedicated and yet largely unknown young professionals who donate thousands of hours of their time to bringing the ‘life’ of the community…

Thousands of locals and visitors braved winter temperatures to enjoy 38 site-specific installations. The glow of this year’s event had hardly faded before the six-strong creative team was already working on LUMA 2018.

Their goal? To open up an enlightening conversation and improve the creative landscape in Queenstown.

Trust chairman Duncan Forsyth says the LUMA team sees arts and culture as a vital vehicle for improving the future of the resort town.

“We want to appeal to locals with a layer of visitors wrapped around them. Like a village vibe bringing the ‘life’ of the community back into the town centre,” he says.

“We’re an international destination renowned for its adrenalin rush, but we all firmly believe we need to balance that out with culture and creativity.”

LUMA began with a 2015 pilot project as part of the town’s annual Winter Festival. In the two short years following, it has been a runaway success, growing from approximately 10,000 visitors in 2016 to 35,000 this year.

Its location in the iconic Queenstown Gardens has started to spread into the other areas, creating a magical glow around Queenstown Bay.

But the growth, while exciting, brings its own challenges.

“We’ve been so grateful for the event partners that contribute, through cash or cash in kind, to help cover the huge overheads in transporting artwork, creating installations, and projection set-ups,” says Duncan.

“The benefit of LUMA is significant when brings local families and visitors into town to create an energy that doesn’t exist at any other time of the year. The levels of community engagement with the event are simply outstanding, especially when you consider it’s in the middle of winter over a traditionally quiet Queen’s birthday weekend.

“But we need our vibrant business community’s help to ‘chip in’ creatively and financially to make this event sustainable. The oxygen for the event is money.

“The expectation of having such amazing pieces of artwork displayed in ‘our town’ comes at a cost, but we’re not a commercial event. LUMA is a community event which local people can be proud to be a part of.”

The three-year-old project was recently named Supreme Award winner in the Trustpower Queenstown Lakes Community Awards.

LUMA Southern Light Project, and the LUMA Light Festival Trust are supported by local government event funding and sponsors from all over Queenstown and Otago.

Queenstown Chamber of Commerce members are encouraged to come and hear more about the project at the Christmas Business After 5 presentation on December 13.

For a stunning video on this year’s event go here.

Picture caption:

1/ Mirror, Mirror, in the forest – A mirror ball installation was a favourite for crowds attending the 2017 LUMA Southern Light Project in Queenstown. Photo credit: Collab Photography

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