Article Title:Excitement builds for Q'town Gay Ski Week
Author or staff
Published on:20th August 2004 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:371
Text:"Last year, there was a young local Queenstown guy who emailed me at the end of the week to say he hadn't had so much sex in his life!" laughs Mike, organiser of Gay Ski Week. "Its nice to get feedback like that." Interesting feedback as, for the second year in a row, homosexuals prepare to descend on the South Island's tourism and wintersports capital for Gay Ski Week, a week-long extravaganza of fun and frivolity that doesn't, it would seem, necessarily involve skiing. Mike says Queenstown is a party town these days, and there's a lot more gay guys about than there have ever been. “Since we've been marketing Gay Ski Week, there seem to be a lot more local guys coming out of the woodwork, and more gay people moving there. With a name like Queenstown, of course, gay guys are going to be attracted.” Indeed, Mike adds, with street names like Mann, Shotover and Camp, gay blokes should start feeling right at home (jokes about Mrs Slocombe's pussy on standby). Mainstream journalists from around the country have been taken with the self-deprecating humour. “I had an email from a journalist up north asking if he could use that quote. We love to take the piss out of the names,” says Mike. Around 140 took part in last year's events, and Mike's aiming to double that this year. So far he seems to be on track; he's promoted the event throughout Australia, with special package deals being made available through various Flight Centres, resulting in a number of bookings totalling more than a third of last year's attendance. So how does a little town in the heart of the conservative south cope with all this? It was only five years ago, under the reign of mayor Warren Cooper, that Queenstown was notoriously un-gay friendly. Mike says things have moved on since then. “We've had incredible support from the Queenstown business community, they can see the potential. The mayor appeared on ‘Queer Nation' last year, the mayor and the council have been great. We also received seed funding from Destination Queenstown, a ratepayer-funded body.” Local radio station Q92 joined in the fun last year, giving away tickets to a show by two of Gay Ski Week's more colourful guests. “Their breakfast show is hosted by rugby-type jocks, they'd promote Gay Ski Week and the Buffy   
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