Skyline adds gourmet jelly bean store

Wilson Confectionery business manager Dave Cunningham (back), project co-ordinator Cheryl Sharpe and Skyline Queenstown general manager Lyndon Thomas prepare for the launch of New Zealand's second Jelly Belly-themed store. Photo supplied.
Wilson Confectionery business manager Dave Cunningham (back), project co-ordinator Cheryl Sharpe and Skyline Queenstown general manager Lyndon Thomas prepare for the launch of New Zealand's second Jelly Belly-themed store. Photo supplied.
A sweet attraction opens at Skyline Queenstown on Monday.

A Jelly Belly-themed store is the latest addition to the Bob's Peak complex and follows the opening of New Zealand's first Jelly Belly store, at Skyline Rotorua.

Skyline Queenstown general manager Lyndon Thomas said the Jelly Belly brand was ''huge'' in the United States and well-known internationally.

It was noted for recreating famous pieces of artwork and portraying famous characters with jelly beans. Portraits include the Mona Lisa, US presidents, The Beatles, and the Johannes Vermeer painting The Girl with the Pearl Earring.

Skyline has commissioned an Auckland-based artist to replicate two jelly bean wall art pieces which will be uncovered at the store's opening.

More than 18,000 individual jelly beans will also be used in a special installation that will be on permanent display in the store.

Mr Thomas said the Jelly Belly store had been very successful since opening in Rotorua in August last year and he believed it would be a ''good fit'' in Queenstown.

Skyline Enterprises has diversified its operations at the summit of Bob's Peak and its income streams since the Skyline gondola was officially opened in November, 1967.

Visitor numbers had soared, from 56,000 in 1968 to now more than 550,000 each year.

The company had been very successful at adapting and it was always looking to do something new or upgrade the customer experience, Mr Thomas said.

It had been a busy year, with the revamp of its cafe, the Market Kitchen, and work getting under way on a new mountain bike trail which the company hoped to open in the new year. There had already been a lot of good feedback from the local cycling community, he said.

The company was happy with its winter trading and, moving into summer, it was ''looking pretty positive''.

The make-up of customers had changed quite significantly in the past few years and while they were more careful with what they were spending, they also had greater expectations.

The Chinese and Southeast Asia market was booming, which was very positive, and the Western market was starting to rebound.

The Chinese market was growing very quickly and not showing any signs of slowing down soon, he said.

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