Skyline Enterprises last Friday applied to Queenstown Lakes District Council for a new lease of reserve land at the back of the existing base terminal as the first step in the process.
The move is in response to feedback during the public submission process last year, which followed Skyline’s application to QLDC to undertake a $100 million redevelopment of the entire gondola complex. Submissions requested that Skyline provide additional parking for Skyline visitors and staff.
If the Lease for 8,361sq m of Ben Lomond Recreation Reserve is approved, a resource consent application will be lodged for a car parking building to provide adequate parking for the Skyline redevelopment, consisting of at least 207 car parks. Car parks will be exclusively for the use of Skyline Queenstown staff and customers to satisfy consent conditions. Any additional capacity within the car park building – which is still in the design process – will be available for use by the general public.
The proposed lease area increases the footprint of an existing Skyline lease, which is already used for staff car parking behind the base terminal at the top of Brecon Street. Estimated to cost $10m, the car parking building would be hidden behind the proposed new base terminal and owned and operated by Skyline.
Skyline has been actively working with traffic planners and QLDC to come up with a solution since last October and a car parking building is the logical answer, Skyline Enterprises Executive Chairman Mark Quickfall says.
“We’ve been listening to the local community’s feedback and have taken it on board. We recognise there is an issue with car parking in central Queenstown, and with future projections in local population and visitor growth, we need to respond accordingly.
“Providing parking on-site makes it easier for people of all ages and abilities to access the gondola, and saves them having to park in the existing on-street car parks on Brecon Street and within the town centre and then walking up the hill to the gondola terminal,” he says.
In addition, significant work would be undertaken to improve pedestrian and cycleway access to Ben Lomond Recreation Reserve.
The application will involve a notified public process.
Meanwhile, the Environment Court is expected to sit for the gondola application in late May. The car parking proposal will be presented at the hearing.
“Skyline is committed to taking a balanced and considered approach for our gondola development project. It’s our biggest investment for Skyline Queenstown in 30 years, but we also want to make sure our world-class facility is something that the community can be proud of,” Quickfall adds.