Peter and Susanne Wood who run Ski Time in Methven (Mt Hutt Ski Village), have had to reduce their operating hours and room availability just as the busy ski season is about get under way.
It’s not because they aren’t busy, in fact after two years of Covid lockdowns and border closures, Susanne says Ski Time is receiving “a constant flow of enquiries and requests for bookings”, both in their lodge and the restaurant.
“We have an amazing core team, with most having been with us for more than three years but we rely on being able to recruit more staff during our busy winter time,” she says. “Unfortunately that people pool is dry and so we can only open the restaurant Tuesday through Saturday, and to a limited number of diners. We have been turning away around 30 people on busy nights. Our accommodation is also only 80% open, for the same reason.”
Ms Wood says quality is the number one priority at Ski Time so they decided to reduce the amount of accommodation and restaurant space available to ensure high standards were maintained.
“It’s also about the wellbeing of our staff,” she says. “They are already working at 110% so it helps no-one if we are all exhausted and unhappy.”
Susanne says it’s heart-breaking turning people away, not only from a business perspective but because people are really disappointed when they hear Ski Time can’t take them.
“We have a high number of ‘returning’ guests and with borders open they assume we are all go. I’m not saying we won’t get back to operating at 100% capacity but right now we are choosing quality over quantity. We won’t be taking all the guests we have space for, until we have the staff to ensure guests and diners are well looked after and are getting the quality service we’re known for.”
Ski Time is in Methven, about 1 hour 10 mins from Christchurch.
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