Membership rises for Queenstown Chamber

DEBBIE JAMIESON IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 11:36 04/12/2013

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Queenstown Chamber of Commerce is growing fast with so many new members the organisation is almost on a par with the likes of Timaru and Nelson.

Speaking at the chamber's annual meeting, chief executive Ann Lockhart said membership hit 410 in the past financial year.

''Our original goal was 400 and I expect close to 500 members by the end of the next year.''

Such a large membership was a reflection of the dynamic business community in Queenstown.

Special mention was accorded to outgoing chairman Alastair Porter, who was instrumental in revitalising the business lobby.

Chairman Charlie Phillips said the financial report was in excellent shape thanks to new membership, and the chamber surplus was $142,000.

''We are developing some strategy around working with the council on economic development and the need for an economic development unit,'' Mr Phillps said. 

''We're committed to protecting the viability of the central business district.''

The central business district needed a bit of a scrub and the chamber also wanted to encourage new commercial segments in the resort such as IT connectivity and education, he said.

The constitution was amended to increase the board from eight to nine members. 

They are: Mr Phillips, Kim Wilkinson, Michelle Baillie, Richard Thomas, Jim Moore, Julie Hughes, Craig Douglas, Martin Hawes and the newest member Michael Skeggs.

Mr Porter said Queenstown's potential was amazing and the resort was not even close to realising its full potential.

''The next decade is going to be an amazing decade in Queenstown.''

Members also heard that Prime Minister John Key has agreed to speak at an event in February.

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- The Mirror

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