Bars create vibe at NZ Open
Queenstown hospitality business Future Bars is looking forward to serving 20,000 people over the four days of the New Zealand Open, at The Hills next week.
Co-owner Jason Whalley said the company, which owns three bars in Queenstown, was working on developing the conference and incentive side of its business and becoming more involved in events.
Last year he worked with Queenstown Events managing the 19th bar and made a pitch to operate three bars this year at the 10th, 15th and 19th holes.
Each would have its own atmosphere.
‘‘We’re looking at bringing some of the younger, trendier crowd out to the golf. It’s not just fuddy duddies – it’s a real social experience.’’
Two bars would be based on the Cow Lane bar Rhinos Ski Shack.
‘‘We want to to bring golf into the CBD. It’s away for us to leverage our brand and share that with the golf.’’
The involvement was a big commitment for the company - probably four to six weeks’ work for Whalley and 15 to 20 staff over the four days of tournament.
However, they are expecting a good pay off.
‘‘It’s a great opportunity for us as Future Bars to show what we can do in terms of events and get the Rhinos brand out there with exposure to 20,000 people over four days. It will be amazing exposure for us.’’
The company has been on an upward trajectory since 2011 when James Ace and his North Island-based uncle Chris Ace purchased the Boiler Room and Minus Five Ice Bar. They expanded a year later with the purchase of Debajo (since rebranded as Rhino Ski Shack) and brought Whalley on board as a co-owner.
Last month the chaps boughtout Chris and introduced general manager Bert Haines as a shareholder.
March is looking to be busy with the NZ Open, the Harley Davidson Iron Run in central Queenstown as well as three large conference and incentive events in between.
At the golf they are aiming to create an exciting vibe and be interactive, Whalley said.
Graffiti art work at the 15th by artist Deow was likely to be controversial: ‘‘but we’re looking to push the boundaries a little and create a stir.’’
Planning: Future Bars co-owner Jason Whalley trawls over plans for three bars at the NZ Open next week.