Bonanza at pools



Business is booming at the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa. It has enjoyed a record Christmas-January season.

The pools had its highest ever number of consumers in the 37 days from Christmas to the end of January, general manager Graeme Abbot said.

This represented 2 percent growth over the same period last year – and “last year was our biggest year”.

“We are rapt. Very happy and somewhat relieved.”

The pools generated a $1,865,142 surplus for the six months to December 31, instead of the budgeted $1m deficit.

However, it had to be viewed in the context of budgeting in the middle of the Covid-19 lockdown.

The surplus had to be tempered with reduced hours for a large part of the time, which reduced operating and staff costs. At the same time, repairs and renewals were cut back.

“I am delighted the assumptions we made at that time proved to be incorrect.” People came back in droves to the pools after lockdown, he said.

This generated growth in numbers and revenue. “We thought there would be a reluctance by people to travel, and to sit next to each other. But our Christchurch market came back from day one after lockdown, and the North Island has yielded big numbers since November.”

He says South Island road trips have been popular with North Islanders.

Mr Abbot says he expects good numbers over Waitangi weekend.