Tonight Gay Ski Week NZ was cancelled – some two days before it was due to start – as the organising company was placed in liquidation.
Citing various reasons for the liquidation in an email Mike Sanford states as follows:
Over the past few months I have been actively seeking funding and support to ensure that it did not come to this. I did manage to secure a financially solid investor but unfortunately two weeks ago the deal fell through when they failed to provide the agreed funds. Since then I have been searching for an alternative investor to refinance the business unfortunately the last attempt failed earlier today.
Factors outside of my control have had a huge impact on Gay Ski Week NZ 2011:
- moving the event from our usual time in September to July to avoid clashing with the Rugby World Cup (this also created only a ten month window from GSWNZ 2010)
- ongoing earthquakes throughout the South Island
- ash cloud (killed June bookings completely)
- later than expected snowfall (snow only arrived 3 weeks a go)
- tough sponsorship markets (we are $15,000 down on 2010)
- a drop in local support from local Queenstown businesses (we are $12,000 down on 2010)
- event & party ticket sales have been slower than expected in June
All the above are known issues which seem to contradict earlier positive reports which included:
- May report of hundreds of international gay and lesbian skiers and snowboarders are set to descend south of the equator this winter from the US Gay Ski Group Ski Bums in May
- In June the appointment of an Australian wholesaler to grow this business it seems that the event was not reaching the numbers necessary for it to proceed.
- As late as the 15th July the Gay Ski Week website had the following: We have had calls and emails from guys still wanting to book and stay at the host hotel Novotel Queenstown Lakeside.
And then tonight the following:
“For any persons booked for Gay Ski Week in Queenstown there will be no event and no ground support.”
This announcement is sad for those people booked especially give the last minute nature of this announcement and for those businesses which had planned to be work with Gay Ski Week in this coming week.