On the same night, we frequented the usual local hot-spots and as any good backpacker or former Dunedin Scarfie knows there are plenty of bargains to be had.
Suffering diminished brain and liver function from months of travelling, even the most mentally regressive visitor has worked out a night partying in Queenstown can be cheaper than a bride in Thailand – $2.50 handles, free bar snacks, two for one drinks, $5 house spirits. The list is endless. It makes my Scarfie heyday in Dunedin feel like yesterday.
In Dunedin, it didn’t take the varsity, police and local liquor licensing authority long to put a lid on iconic promotions such as Toss the Boss, $28 crates and $2 doubles. The Queenstown equivalent seems, on the face of it, a little more liberal - and fair enough, we rely on visitors enjoying themselves and I would be reluctant to burden the hospitality industry with any additional rules and regulations.
However, Queenstown is in danger of becoming a Bunnings warehouse for drinkers.
Is this a bad thing? I enjoy a drink or six and every dollar saved is a dollar more for the taxi home which definitely hasn’t got any cheaper, so as a drinker I’m basically for it but as a marketer and businessman it kills me to see it.
The major winners in this game are our visitors – by engaging in this massive industry-wide discount battle we are sending them away with far more money in their pocket to spend in Dunedin, Auckland and Thailand.
You can’t begrudge individual bar owners for trying to stay afloat in a cut-throat environment. This has been forced on the industry through tough times. Margins are tight and it’s hard to miss the number of bar closures in town.
However, when the average price per drink from 8am to midnight struggles to get above $4 yet mere metres away you can buy a $4000 bottle of wine, its begs the question – who has got it right?
Queenstown has a great night scene so let’s value it accordingly and aim for fair prices to reflect the owners’ investments in some great venues.
Mark writes a regular column for the Mountain Scene - View Original HERE
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