Organisers of next month's swanky Pink Ball at the picturesque central North Island Chateau Tongariro are hoping to make it an annual event, after their first foray into catering for the gay and lesbian market. Marketing Manager Gareth Pearce says the hotel team came up with the idea, as May and June are soft months and it wanted to be able to provide a ball that offered the gay community something a little more classy. “There are plenty of ‘cabaret' type events with drag queens and the like but we wanted to create an upmarket event that was different to what is currently in the market,” he says. “We want to be able to provide something a little different and outside of the main cities. That way, people can make a mini break out of it. We want to showcase the Tongariro National Park and its beauty and the drive to the mountain is absolutely stunning.” Pearce says they were told to expect a slow start to ticket sales, which was the case, but the speed of sales has picked up as the ball date of 21 May approached. He says they are preparing to make it a spectacular night. The furniture will be moved aside in the main lounge of the 82-year-old resort hotel to expose the original parquet dance floor. A band will play and first class food and wine will be served. “The hotel as the location is the perfect backdrop for this ball, and it's great that the gay community want to support the first one. The hotel wants to make it a regular on the gay calendar and we can only do this if we get the support from the gay community,” Pearce says. He says the Chateau has always been a gay-friendly place and this is another chance to showcase ‘the grand old lady of the mountain'. “Everyone has an affiliation with the Chateau as someone they know has a story to tell about it. We want to be able to keep creating stories for people. When guests have a great time at the Chateau, they go forth and tell all of their friends and extended networks. The Chateau sells itself. We welcome anyone into the hotel, regardless of sexuality.” A few tickets are still on sale here.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Friday, 22nd April 2011 - 12:03pm
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