1 May 2017

250 Queenstown ski field workers out in the cold

12:50 pm on 1 May 2017

Hundreds of Queenstown ski field employees are still without accommodation with less than two months to go before the ski season starts.

Remarkables, Queenstown, skiing, sky field.

NZ Ski chief executive said 250 staff still needed homes. Photo: 123RF

The resort town is in the grips of a major housing shortage, which has resulted in sky high rents and often overcrowded shared accommodation.

NZ Ski chief executive Paul Anderson, whose company operates Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, made a public plea on Facebook for accommodation two weeks ago, and he said 50 home owners had since come forward.

But he told Nine To Noon a further 250 staff still needed homes.

Mr Anderson said a booming housing market in Queenstown was driving up prices, and making short-term rentals less affordable.

"It is a squeeze the resort goes through this time every year", he said.

"We have a lot of workers arriving all in the space of about four weeks, and it puts pressure on the short term housing situation in the resort."

In previous years the ski field had found accommodation in nearby Cromwell for some of his employees, but most would prefer to stay closer to the resort, he said.

"They love being here in Queenstown, there is a real vibrancy in the town and this is where they want to be," he said.

Mr Anderson said he was hoping that home owners who provided accommodation through services such as an Air BnB could help cover the shortfall.

He said there were up to 5000 rooms available in Queenstown through Air BnB.

The ski season begins in June and the first wintry blast brought snow to the South Island overnight.

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