Prov­ing Grounds grow

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By GRANT BRYANT

With the South­ern Hemi­sphere Prov­ing Grounds and the for­mer Snow Park un­der sin­gle own­er­ship, new plans are be­ing de­vel­oped to wel­come cor­po­rate clients to the fa­cil­ity. The prov­ing grounds have hosted north­ern hemi­sphere car and car com­po­nent man­u­fac­tur­ers to their top-se­cret test­ing ground since the 1990s. Now, they are look­ing at us­ing the plush restau­rant and bar build­ing, topped with of­fices and lux­ury apart­ments, to at­tract the cor­po­rate con­fer­enc­ing mar­ket and, of course, cor­po­rate ice driv­ing. Prov­ing Grounds man­ager Steve Gould told the Mir­ror the for­mer Snow Park site opened up new pos­si­bil­i­ties un­der Prov­ing Grounds own­er­ship. ‘‘Snow Park is in the de­vel­op­ment phase and un­der­go­ing a change in shape and di­rec­tion,’’ he said. ‘‘The ex­ist­ing bar and restau­rant and lux­ury apart­ments have been in­cluded in the new di­rec­tion along with the bridge across to the car park area – which will be ti­died up and re­struc­tured to al­low a large enough area for SHPG to con­tinue to grow its cor­po­rate event busi­ness pro­vid­ing a ded­i­cated fa­cil­ity to host cor­po­rate ice driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and de­liver the ‘whole pack­age’ in terms of con­fer­enc­ing venue, ac­com­mo­da­tion and cor­po­rate ex­pe­ri­ences,’’ Mr Gould said. The own­ers are also eye­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of breath­ing new life into snow slopes which were closed for use this sea­son. ‘‘SHPG are also ex­plor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties around us­ing ex­ist­ing ski slope and chair lifts as a fully pri­vate pro­gres­sive com­pe­ti­tion level alpine race and train­ing lane venue to meet the de­mand of in­ter­na­tional alpine ski teams who are look­ing for fully pri­vate all day ac­cess to pro­fes­sional level train­ing fa­cil­i­ties.’’ To help re­cover costs the Prov­ing Grounds have opened a ten­der­ing process for the pre-fab build­ings pre­vi­ously used for cafe, re­tail, rental, pa­trol, physio, tick­et­ing and staff. ‘‘The build­ings are now sur­plus to re­quire­ments and not fore­seen be­ing used in the Snow Park’s fu­ture .The build­ings have all been built to sus­tain the el­e­ments of a moun­tain en­vi­ron­ment so are well in­su­lated and very re­lo­cat­able,’’ Mr Gould said. Ten­ders close on Novem­ber 15. More in­for­ma­tion: shpg.co.nz

Photo: GRANT BRYANT

Ex­pan­sion plans: South­ern Hemi­sphere Prov­ing Grounds man­ager Steve Gould at the for­mer Snow Park site, which was bought by the Prov­ing Grounds in June. The main bar and restau­rant build­ing, as well as lux­ury apart­ments (vis­i­ble on the left) will stay, while pre-fab build­ings (vis­i­ble on right) are open for re­moval by ten­der. The Prov­ing Grounds have an ex­cit­ing vi­sion for the site, which in­cludes cor­po­rate ice driv­ing and con­fer­ences and host­ing in­ter­na­tional ski teams.

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