YHA pulling plug on southern hostels

YHA Queenstown Central is among 11 Youth Hostel Association of New Zealand sites closing next...
YHA Queenstown Central is among 11 Youth Hostel Association of New Zealand sites closing next month. PHOTO: CASS MARRETT
Budget accommodation provider the Youth Hostel Association of New Zealand has buckled under the pressure of closed international and domestic borders, winding up operations for four southern hostels.

It announced yesterday it planned to close all of its managed hostels — 11 in total — and Lake Tekapo cafe Our Dog Friday by mid-December.

Of those, two Queenstown hostels, one in Wanaka and one in Te Anau are set to close.

"The continued closure of international borders, with no likelihood of borders being opened this summer alongside the prolonged closure of Auckland’s borders, means forecasted market conditions are unsustainable for YHA New Zealand," general manager Simon Cartwright said in a statement.

Mr Cartwright said he had nothing to add when contacted by the Otago Daily Times and the manager of the YHA Queenstown Lakefront and Queenstown Central hostels declined to comment.

Twenty individually owned and operated associate properties continued to operate under the YHA New Zealand brand, including several locations in the North Island as well as Picton, Nelson, Golden Bay, Westport, Punakaiki, Hokitika, Hanmer Springs, Arthurs Pass, Springfield and Kinloch in the South.

Mr Cartwright stressed the business had done what it could to stay afloat, including the sale and leaseback of four properties, the closure and sale of YHA Auckland City, greater marketing, (unsuccessfully) offering the hostels for managed isolation and quarantine, halving staff numbers and securing new debt.

"Despite our best efforts in extreme market conditions, we remain in a difficult position."

The business was now starting the process of securing staff entitlements, honouring refunds and paying creditors and would close permanently from December 15.

cass.marrett@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter