Entrepreneur's vision for Picton
A former kingpin of the Christchurch sex industry wants to put thousands of dollars into enticing people to Picton by installing a hydroslide on the Picton foreshore.
Terry Brown told the Marlborough Express yesterday he planned to put in a tender to the Timaru District Council to buy a hydroslide from a pool complex that closed nearly a year ago.
Mr Brown, who has owned several brothels in Christchurch but moved to Waikawa, near Picton, three years ago after the earthquakes, wants to bring the seaside town back to life.
He left for Timaru at 6am on Wednesday after spotting a Timaru Herald story online an hour earlier about a slide on Trade Me with a $1 reserve.
He met Timaru District Council property manager Matt Ambler later that day.
"I said ‘I'll take it', but they tried to change their position on it," Mr Brown said.
He was prepared to pay $9000 for the water pump that goes with the slide and buy the slide for the $1 reserve, but Mr Ambler said he could put in a tender when it opened on Saturday.
"I thought it would be ideal for Picton in summer," Mr Brown said.
"The Picton shops are empty and people are worried. There's no new life here; it'll be a ghost town soon."
He planned to meet the Marlborough District Council and hoped to work with it to install the slide on the beach front.
If the council did not want to be involved, he would buy a site and set up a water park.
"I'm a visionary. I like to think ahead," he said.
"It would be a tourist attraction.
"It will get the town going a bit."
Mr Ambler said Mr Brown had shown interest in the hydroslide when he visited him in Timaru on Wednesday.
The 79-metre fibreglass slide starts at the top of an 8.7m-high tower and had been in Timaru's Century Pool for 15 years before the complex closed nearly a year ago.
The council had no further use for the slide and was keen to move it so the pool could be filled in, Mr Ambler said.
It came with a water pump and would have to be disassembled and reconstructed at a new site.
The $275,000 hydroslide was a community project and opened in December 1998.
A tendering process would begin on Saturday and end on July 29, Mr Ambler said.
He would not say how much he was hoping to get for it.
"If someone wanted it, it was up to them to decide how much it was worth."
About six people had expressed interest in the slide, but only Mr Brown and one other person had shown interest in the past few days, he said.
The Marlborough Express