His wardrobe might not have reflected it, but John Duxbury is more than prepared for his new role as The Gate’s new general manager.
Duxbury left his job managing a 220-bed resort in Fiji to take over from Glen Christiansen as manager at The Gate in Cromwell about a month ago.
He had little need for merino and thermals, having spent the past three years in the South Pacific, so one of his first tasks moving from sunny beaches into a Central Otago winter was to go shopping.
While he had not prepared his wardrobe for the change in climate, he worked in Queenstown for 13 years and spent holidays in the region so he knows what he is in for.
‘‘We had three years in the South Pacific and decided we wanted to come home to look after the family and this position came up.
‘‘We love Central Otago and I used to come to Cromwell when I was a young kid for holidays and jumped at the chance to have the opportunity to live in a really spectacular part of the world.’’
Duxbury has had 32 years in the hospitality industry, 17 of which have been spent as a general manager.
‘‘I think it has got huge potential. When I saw the job
advertised I knew the property and knew what opportunities it had and how much it has got to offer and to grow the business.’’
There had been a lot of increased interest from overseas inbound tour operators since the rebranding.
‘‘Obviously, the glut in Queenstown helps us, but rather than taking the overflow from Queenstown we want to establish our own destination. I would rather have our own market so if Queenstown is saying, ’we are overflowing’, I can say ‘well sorry, we are full as well’.’’
‘‘The staff have really welcomed me and you can tell they have a sense of ownership of this place...There are a lot of long standing staff who love their jobs and have been here quite a while which helps in that transition.’’