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Dare to dream

April 12 2021 by Scott Stevens

What goes through the mind of a local hospitality business owner when our PM steps up to the microphone? I’ll tell you, blah blah hurry up already and get this Aussie Bubble up and running! Then, when the words finally come out “19 April”. Butterflies, excitement, nervousness, fear of false hope. All of the above.

We have all learnt a thing or two during the last 12 months. Most importantly, that the only certainty is more uncertainty. However, you would not be human if you did not dare to dream. An open border with our largest tourism market is huge. There is a light at the end of this seemingly never-ending tunnel. Queenstown Airport are talking 20 flights a week. That is a lot of Aussies on the Coronet chairlift, meals at local restaurants and heads on pillows. It certainly will be special to hear that Aussie accent on the streets again.

But then the doubt creeps in. We have been promised a golden ticket before and it turned out to be bronze. What’s the worst that could happen this time? Well pretty much everything. Mass vaccinations are still a long way off on both sides of the Tasman and as we all know it only takes one stuff up and it’s back to square one. The government messaging is “flyer beware”. But what is the risk? Another equally ambiguous question is how long is a piece of string. We are told by those who claim to know the risk is “low”. That said, you would be a fool not to have your own business risk management systems in place and finely tuned.

Entrepreneurship is all about putting yourself out there and taking risks. When you have been through what we have over the last 12 months, the tendency is to err on the side of caution, and nobody would blame you if you did. It takes a lot of faith in your business, your team members, Queenstown Inc and of course yourself to put the cash in and gear up, staff up and risk another burn if we have a Covid outbreak that scuttles best laid plans this winter.

It is a conundrum that will define Queenstown business in 2021 and probably beyond in this crazy world of sudden change. It is incredibly hard to plan for the unknown, but I am firmly in the camp of dreaming we will be in the profit zone this winter. All pointers are saying so. What’s the worst that could happen again?


- Scott Stevens