Paying for Queenstown trails: Biking businesses asked to donate

by Kim Bowden - Apr 30, 2024

A local bike hire shop is taking the lead in supporting Queenstown's growing network of biking trails, but a challenge has been laid for more local businesses to give to the cause.

Outside Sports is donating $2.50 from every bike rental at its Queenstown store to charitable trust Queenstown Trails.

Now, the charitable trust's boss wants to see other tourism and hospitality operators directly benefitting from the trail network volunteering to contribute funds for investment in it.

Last year, more than 200,000 bikers, hikers and runners made use of the hundreds of kilometres of existing trails in and around Queenstown, and plenty of them were visitors to the area.

In a statement today, the trust says there has been record growth in the bike tourism industry sector, with more trail related businesses benefitting from the trails than ever before.

It says the trail are contributing millions of dollars to the local economy through hire, transport, accommodation and food and beverage, and supporting hundreds of jobs.

"What better way for those businesses benefitting from the trails to show their love for the trails, and their recognition of their commercial benefit from a community asset, than to donate back to the organisation responsible for enhancing and expanding the trail network.

"Given the current economic and political climate, there has never been a more important time for people to show their love and support of the trails by donating. 

"And that’s exactly what the legends at Outside Sports are doing."

Outside Sports owner John Knight says giving back is a "no-brainer".

"The trails are a magnificent asset to the region, and benefit so many local businesses, it's so important to give back to the trails."

He says he would like to see all bike rental businesses donating back to the trails in the same vein.

Queenstown Trails chief executive Mark Williams says the offer of the per-rental contribution from Outdoor Sports is "gratifying" - but it doesn't go far enough.

"We are lucky with the support we receive, but it’s time for everyone to step up and give back. There are a lot of businesses making a lot of money from the trails, and a small contribution back will ensure that we can look after and improve the network for current and future generations."

Tomorrow, the trust is kicking off its annual 'Trail Lover' campaign, with a goal to raise $200,000 by the end of June.

"It sounds like a big goal, but it's really only $1 for every one of the 200,000 runners, walkers or bikers who used the Queenstown Trails in the last year," Mr Williams says.

"We have been so lucky to have this incredibly loyal base of 'Trail Lovers' donating every year, but with over 200,000 runners, walkers and bikers using the trails every year, it's time to cast the net wider and get support from everyone that uses the trails: locals, visitors and businesses."

Queenstown Trails is a charitable trust, and it is the driving force behind the development of a 200-kilometre-plus trail network.

The trust is seeking to provide a 'trail close to home' for everyone in Queenstown.

Its latest project, the Wharehuanui Trail linking Arrowtown to Arthurs Point is nearing completion and will be opening during 'Trail Lovers' month.  

To make a donation and become a 'Trail Lover' visit Become a Trail Lover - Queenstown Trail.

Main image (Supplied/Will Nelson)

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