Face of The Gate bids farewell

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Glen Chris­tiansen wants to set the record straight.

The Cromwell fa­ther of three spent his last day as The Gate’s gen­eral man­ager on Mon­day amid a swirl of spec­u­la­tion about why he stepped down.

‘‘It has been quite funny. What I en­joy about Cromwell is the ru­mours and I’ve em­braced the fact that I’ve been asked to leave be­cause of my per­for­mance; the fact my wife is preg­nant with our fourth child and she has put the ul­ti­ma­tum on me to leave.‘‘

The truth, while not likely to cause tongues wag­ging over cof­fee cups, is it is about fam­ily and the need for change.

‘‘The mo­ti­va­tion is re­ally just about get­ting a bal­ance of life with the fam­ily and mov­ing on away from the 24-7 on call work. Also, fresh eyes will be great for this place and I’m sure the next per­son will be fan­tas­tic. They may have a com­pletely dif­fer­ent view from me, but I’m con­fi­dent it is go­ing in the right di­rec­tion.’’

Chris­tiansen has been in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try a long time. He grad­u­ated from the Cromwell Polytech­nic in 1994 and in Novem­ber 1995 took his first job as a porter in Queen­stown, work­ing through the ranks since then.

‘‘In 2005 I came to the Golden Gate Lodge as gen­eral man­ager. It was my first ho­tel place­ment and pretty ex­cit­ing times. Cromwell had just gone through its first prop­erty boom re­ally from 2001 and it was start­ing to get a name for it­self. I came into a ho­tel that was in my mind a coun­try ho­tel about to get into the tourism game.’’

The ho­tel di­rec­tors had al­lowed him to run the ho­tel in a style that suited him.

‘‘[My res­ig­na­tion] took the di­rec­tors a bit by sur­prise but they also un­der­stand it is com­ing up 12 years and change is good for them and it is also good for me. They were pretty sup­port­ive.’’

A ca­reer high­light had been the multi-mil­lion dol­lar re­de­vel­op­ment of The Gate - trans­form­ing it into a tourism des­ti­na­tion.

Chris­tiansen had taken a job with ITM in Cromwell, and was look­ing for­ward to the new di­rec­tion, he said.

‘‘I have got a lot of emo­tions go­ing through me at the mo­ment. I have had it re­ally good here, bosses who sup­ported me, staff that are like fam­ily now...But it’s go­ing to be good for me to move for­ward. I’m look­ing for­ward to it - a com­pletely new in­dus­try and com­pletely new di­rec­tion so should be a bit of fun.’’

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