Call of Cardrona lured her back home
Ski field’s brand new manager is a familiar face, ready to tackle the role
It’s a new ski season – and a new general manager for Cardrona Alpine Resort.
She’s may even be a familiar face; If you haven’t met before, meet Bridget Legnavsky, Cardrona’s former services manager, wearing bigger shoes.
Or maybe that should be ski boots, because that’s one thing this ski industry professional of over 20 year’s experience swears will not change with her prestigious appointment.
‘‘You’ll still see me out on the slopes,’’ Bridget says.
‘‘I’ll still be having a big grasp on the business, and my priority will be jumping on a ski lift and getting out on the mountain.
Originally from Lake Tekapo, her love affair with Wanaka and Cardrona began in 1993, when she scored a part-time job as a ski instructor, while still studying for her Physical Education degree at Otago University.
‘‘I thought I was going back to do my masters, but that didn’t happen!’’
Her background in competitive skiing, training and coaching proved invaluable at Cardrona, leading to her appointment as Snowsports Manager in 1994, in charge of the ski and snowboard school, high performance and instructor training centres.
Working from the snow up, Bridget started one of New Zealand’s first instructor training programmes with the Otago Polytechnic in 1995, which still runs successfully today and has been a pathway for many Kiwi skiers and snowboarders into the instructing industry.
She was president of the New Zealand Snowsports Instructor Alliance from 1999 to 2010, and technical director of skiing for the same organisation, from 2003 to 2009.
She has taught in Japan, the United States, Italy and of course, many seasons in New Zealand. Bridget has also travelled to many other international skiing destinations, competing in Extreme Ski and Powder Eights competitions, as well as representing NZ at three different Interski Congresses in Norway, Switzerland and Korea.
However, Cardrona had got into her blood, and she always came back.
She puts this down to not just loving snow and mountains, but to having a fantastic team around her, as she enters her first season in the role at Cardrona, under new owners Real Journeys of Queenstown.
‘‘I’ve got too much support to be nervous about the role. They’ll be there to help and to guide me.
‘‘This is an incredible job for me, because it’s part of my background and who I am. It’s a match made in heaven.’’
In somewhat of a contrast, this 42-year-old businesswoman and self-confessed snow junkie has another addiction – frocks.
Bridget’s owned popular Wanaka clothes store, 47 Frocks, since 2010, opening a second shop across the street just last Friday.
With their dad Peter Legnavsky often working away from home, Bridget’s children – Gustav, 8 and Zora, 4 – have grown up amongst fabric and on the mountain.
● The Cardrona 2014 Ski Season is scheduled to open on Friday.
Up for the challenge: Cardrona Alpine Resort’s new general manager Bridget Legnavsky is all set for the ski season’s opening, next Friday.