Glendhu Bay leaseholder clarifies new fees for campers

by Kim Bowden - Apr 05, 2024

The new leaseholders of Wānaka's Glendhu Bay holiday park say they've introduced "modest" increases to charges for campers.

Yesterday Crux reported one regular camper who claimed the cost for his family to repeat its regular summer stay at the popular lakeside spot appeared to have "rocketed" this year.

However, new Australian operators Hampshire Holiday Parks Limited is defending the changes, amidst increasing costs to run the park.

Company chief executive Frank Sharkey says regular campers were notified of increases of at most $2 per person per night by email in March.

"Although costs have significantly increased for the operation of the camp, the increase in fees for next Christmas are in the order of $2 for two persons per night and an increase of $1 to $2 per night for additional persons.

"These modest increases are in line with the CPI of 4.7 percent for the 12 months ending 31 December, 2023."

The company has retained the long-held practice of giving longer-term holidaymakers first dibs on returning to camping sites they had stayed in before, and Mr Sharkey says bookings for next Christmas are not yet open to the general public.

He says these "rollover guests" have been advised that powered sites will increase by $2 to $46 per night for two people, with additional adults increasing by $1 per night to $23 and additional children, by $1 to $12 per child. Meanwhile unpowered sites will increase by $2 to $42 per night for two people, with additional adults increasing by $1 to $21 per night and children, by $2 to $12 per night.

Although Crux has been told of a dynamic pricing structure during peak holiday periods, Mr Sharkey denies any fee fluctuations throughout the year.

It is his view the company provides "affordable holidays for New Zealanders and foreigners alike".

While he accepts the lease for the campground going offshore may feel unsettling for some, he says the company employs Kiwis and spends money in the community.

"Although we acknowledge that the change of ownership of Glendhu Bay Motor Camp may be a legitimate concern for locals and visitors, we can assure them that there are no significant changes planned for the camp."

Mr Sharkey will be in attendance at a public meeting at the camp scheduled for Friday, May 17 at 10am.

On the agenda is an update for interested parties on general operations and proposed minor improvements to the camp.

The meeting is a requirement of the Overseas Investment Office's decision to allow the Australian operator to take over the Glendhu Bay lease.

In what was a big Queenstown Lakes holiday camp buy-up, Hampshire Holiday Parks Limited bought the rights to run the Glendhu Bay park last year, as well as Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park, Arrowtown Holiday Park, Wānaka Lakeview Holiday Park, and Albert Town Camp Ground.

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