A truly aspirational town
Downtown Queenstown is easily recognised as the commercial, civic, cultural and entertainment heart of New Zealand’s premier tourist destination. The diverse mix of activities, combined with both international and domestic visitors creates a dynamic and compelling place for people to gather. For local residents the town centre represents the foundation on which the district was built and still holds an important place in their lives.
We must protect our special place
DowntownQT has been formed to maintain and enhance what is good about the town centre. Its role is to represent the various stakeholders that call downtown Queenstown home. It takes its advocacy role seriously and has united stakeholders behind a common vision and set of goals for the first time.
What does DowntownQT do?
- Town centre guardianship: DowntownQT represents stakeholders at both local and national government level. Advocating on behalf of members while developing town centre curation, resilience and collaboration. The town centre strategy guides the organisation.
- The public face of the town centre: DowntownQT is the ‘go-to place’ for information. It is the primary contact point for the Queenstown Lakes District Council when seeking stakeholder viewpoints on issues affecting the town centre. DowntownQT also assists with collective agreements between stakeholders on issues that benefit the town centre.
The strength of DowntownQT comes through the breadth and size of its membership. Downtown stakeholders have recognised that unless they join together and collaborate, town centre growth could be ad-hoc, uncoordinated and may ultimately be detrimental to the ongoing success of the town. Membership of DowntownQT allows those who work and live in the town centre to get on with their day-to-day lives safe in the knowledge that their issues and concerns are being dealt with.
DowntownQT is an incorporated society fully funded by its members.
Its board of directors is made up of stakeholders from the various town centre groups. Elections for the board are held once a year at an Annual General Meeting, with all members having one vote.
The current board:
- Alastair Wood. Colliers International.
- Kim Wilkinson. Unichem Wilkinsons Pharamcy.
- Johnny Stevenson. Coronet Property Management.
- Mike Burgess. Watertight Investments.
- Grant Hattaway. Hattaway Consultancy.
- Beatrice Riso. Louis Vuitton.
- Kelvin Collins. Harcourts Real Estate.
- Ann Lockhart. Queenstown Chamber of Commerce.
- Graham Budd. Destination Queenstown.
- Steve Wilde. Town Centre Manager, employed by the board to enact and deliver its objectives.
DowntownQT is proud to be able to deliver free WiFi to the public areas in the town centre.
Following a joint venture with HQ, DowntownQT has established free WiFi hotspots at The Village Green, Earnslaw Park, The Mall, Beach Street and Searle Lane. We're adding new hotspots regularly.
People are able to access 1GB of free data daily.
For businesses this represents an enormous opportunity as we are able to offer members of DowntownQT the ability to advertise on the free WiFi service. Imagine being able to reach your potential customers, who are only metres away from your door!
If you'd like to know more about advertising on the Queenstown Free WiFi, please send us an email.
A truly living document
The DowntownQT Town Centre Strategy will help guide the organisation. This living document covers everything from the look and feel of the streets and buildings, transport and parking, accessibility, lighting and future development.
It provides guidance around commercial resilience and growth, sector alignment, local relevance and more.
Consultation on the strategy is underway now with Chris Wilkinson, from First Retail Group, providing expert advice. All members of DowntownQT are able to have their input through combined downtown membership meetings, regular sector group meetings, events and the DowntownQT website.
Solving a big headache
The biggest issue facing downtown Queenstown is transporation and parking.
DowntownQT is a member of the Queenstown Lakes District Council Transport Strategy Forum.
It is also a member of the Shaping Our Future Transport Working Group. Our aim is to ensure the views of downtown stakeholders are taken into account when the council develops its comprehensive strategy dealing with the issues of transport and parking.
Retail sector key issues
DowntownQT wants to ensure an optimum mix of retailers remain in the town centre area.
Small owner operated boutique shops alongside well known branded stores are what local shoppers and visitors are looking for.
Developing retail peer support networks and commercial collegiality is vital. Advocating an improved maintenance regime, which includes working with the QLDC and building owners, to ensure the streets and buildings are looking their best.
Another example where retailers will work in collaboration is through the standardisation of opening hours so that consumers can visit with confidence. Staying connected is a big part of the retail challenge. DowntownQT helps keep retailers ‘on-radar’ through social media campaigns designed to appeal to both local shoppers and visitors.
Hospitality sector key issues
Queenstown is internationally renowned for its warm and dynamic hospitality offering.
DowntownQT is helping activate streets and laneways and maximising their hospitality appeal. While advocating for outdoor trading extensions, we are working on street-scaping imporvements, extending the town security camera network and bringing hospitality and retail sectors more closely together, to share their ideas.
Enabling free town centre wide Wi-Fi is a big challenge, which will enhance the destination value of downtown Queenstown. So too will be the investigation of further traffic free areas.
Property owners key issues
Working with property owners to ensure an optimum mix of retail, hospitality and 1st floor businesses is a key priority for DowntownQT.
There needs to be an understanding of the economic challenges retail, food and beverage businesses in the town centre are facing. DowntownQT wants to assist property owners to develop a sustainable mix of tenants which contributes to the overall economic and interest value of the town centre.
Corporate sector key issues
Our corporate businesses help keep the town centre viable and cement its place as the economic centre of the district.
DowntownQT is working with property owners to ensure the needs of corporate businesses are being met.
These entities are a critical part of the dynamic mix of downtown businesses and ensure the town centre remains relevant to both locals and visitors.
Setting the future direction
DowntownQT will work with the Queenstown Lakes District Council as it reviews the District Plan.
The council wants to make the District Plan more accessible and transparent, with the review taking a two-staged approach with those areas most urgently requiring attention – contained in stage 1.
Stage 1 includes the Queenstown Town Centre Zone.