16 May 2011

Uncertain winter season for resort town

7:00 am on 16 May 2011

Queenstown's winter season is shaping up to be one of the most uncertain for many years - despite the opening of a major hotel development.

Forward bookings for the ski season are looking slim, having been been seriously affected by the Christchurch earthquake and Queensland floods.

Destination Queenstown chief executive Tony Everitt says bookings are only now picking up again.

NZSKI chief executive James Coddington says unless the resort get snow soon, and lots of it, the winter ahead looks bleak.

The international hotelier, the Hilton Group, will open two major hotels on the shores of Lake Wakatipu this week.

The hotels are located at the Kawarau Falls development, which went into receivership in 2009.

Both will be managed by Hilton, with 276 rooms and nearly 200 staff.