Skyline Queenstown will re-open its gondola doors to take mountain biking enthusiasts up to the world-class Queenstown Bike Park when it re-opens on September 29.
After returning from a research trip to Whistler Mountain Bike Park, brimming with tips and ideas, Skyline Mountain Biking Co-Ordinator Brad Rowe is looking forward to the season ahead.
“Whistler has been doing it for 12 years and even though Skyline is new to this, operationally we’re on the right track,” said Mr Rowe.
Located high above Queenstown, the Bike Park offers awesome downhill mountain biking for riders all of all levels, from beginners to intermediates and advanced. The bike park offers the only gondola-accessed downhill mountain biking in the Southern Hemisphere and features over 30 kilometres of purpose-built tracks catering for all levels of riders from families to pro-riders.
Following a hugely successful first full season last year, enabling more than 10,000 riders to access Queenstown Bike Park, the Skyline team is looking forward to an even better season this year.
Thanks to the hard work of Nathan Greenwood of Phat Lines for Queenstown Bike Park, 13 trails will be groomed to perfection and ready for opening day.
“We’re into it, the trails are looking awesome, never better. As hard as it is, to give them the best chance of setting up, I would ask riders to stay off the trails until the season begins,” said Mr Greenwood.
Skyline expects bike enthusiast numbers to continue to grow, and has appointed Assistant General Manager Wayne Rose to manage Skyline Mountain Biking operations.
“Since access to these trails first opened we’ve seen the continued growth of mountain biking as a sport, creating a significant economic benefit for many businesses throughout the region,” he said.
“That benefit reaches out to accommodation providers, restaurants, bars and bike rental operations.
“Skyline Queenstown has adapted its operations to cater for the addition of the mountain biking community and is striving to continuously improve the service provided.
“This season we’re even creating a ‘Bikers Lunch Box’ containing the necessary supplements to keep them riding hard.
“The trails in the park are a labour of love for the local community with crucial financial support from QLDC, Vertigo Bikes, Outside Sports, H&J’s Outdoor World, Queenstown Mountain Bike Club and Skyline for the coming season.
“Skyline Queenstown will more than match the collective contribution of the bike shops and club, to ensure there is funding available to maintain trails to a world class standard.”
While many trails are suitable for relatively novice or intermediate riders, Queenstown Bike Park has also proved a ‘mecca’ for international pros. World Cup racer Markus Pekkoll of Austria and renowned biking siblings the Athertons were among the many mountain bike stars who visited Queenstown Bike Park last season.
Last season the tracks were the training ground for Hawke’s Bay pro rider Brook Macdonald who later went on to win the final round of the UCI World Cup Downhill Series held in France in July.
Gondola access to Queenstown Mountain Bike Park is available from September 29th 2012 to April 29th 2013. Tickets can be purchased from www.skyline.co.nz, onsite or by phoning 03 441 0101.
Passes available include half day, full day, three-day, half season and full season passes, with pricing for adults and children (14 and under).
Check out www.skyline.co.nz for further information on mountain biking and a full range of other activities and products available at Skyline Queenstown.