Pandemic hitting club in the (figurative) pocket

A new pool at Orchard Sun Club in Sutton. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE
A new pool at Orchard Sun Club in Sutton. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE
A Dunedin naturist club is feeling the pinch after a pandemic closed New Zealand borders to tourists.

Orchard Sun Club vice-president Julie Haldane said the accommodation at the naturist resort in Sutton usually had about 600 bookings a year.

About a quarter of the bookings at the resort were from European tourists, mostly British, Dutch and German, Mrs Haldane said.

Bookings were down after Covid-19 closed the borders to tourists.

She hoped more New Zealanders would bridge the shortfall by choosing to stay at the resort.

The club’s finances were down, but that was partly due to a recent $7000 hit to build an indoor heated pool at the club.

Clothing was optional in the resort, but bathers in the pool and spa pool must be naked, she said.

The club was sports-orientated and offered games including billiards, darts, petanque, mini tennis, table tennis and volleyball and a "rustic" nine-hole golf course.

"We are promoting a healthy lifestyle, where you can walk around naked and feel the wind on your body and get lots of vitamin D — all your stresses from home are left behind," Mrs Haldane said.

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