Bars cre­ate vibe at NZ Open

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

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.’’

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Plan­ning: Fu­ture Bars co-owner Ja­son Whalley trawls over plans for three bars at the NZ Open next week.

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