Tourism companies set up new base

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Two of Oamaru’s independent tourism operators are joining forces to operate from a new base in the Victorian Precinct and the move is expected to have a significant impact.

Ralph Davies, of Coast Line Tours, and Rob Connolly, of Vertical Adventures, are moving in to the Wansbeck St building in the precinct, formerly occupied by David Wilson and his penny-farthing business.

Coast Lines Tours run the Penguin Express buses in Oamaru, shuttle buses to Dunedin and also the Bottom Bus tours through the Catlins, while Vertical Adventures have a variety of outdoor operations, but with a growing focus on the Alps to Ocean Cycle trail (A2O).

Mr Davies said they were looking forward to the joint venture.

“By combining our ‘front office’ and operating from a high-profile position in the precinct, we’ll be far more visible and we’re both also expecting a significant increase in visitors to the region this summer,” said Mr Davies.

“We’ll be giving the building a fresh look with some new paint and signage and we’ll have a presence in a part of Oamaru that we expect to be increasingly busy this coming summer,” he said.

Mr Connolly is enthusiastic about the impact a the new base will provide his business.

“While we have several operations, including running outdoor activities for schools, we’re really excited about the potential for the A2O,” he said.

“Having a base in the precinct means visitors can hire bikes and go on one-day rides out through the Oamaru to Duntroon section of the trail, rather than doing the full trail.”

The acquisition of the building in the precinct by the two tourist ventures was welcomed by Whitestone Trust chairman Peter Garvan.

“David Wilson and his penny-farthings were high-profile and good for the image of the precinct,” he said.

“We knew we had to find tenants to at least match that and we are confident we have.

“Coast Line Tours and Vertical Adventures will bring extra people and extra business into the precinct, but also help grow the tourist industry in the region.”

PHOTO: SUPPLIED – Whitestone Civic Trust chairman Peter Garvan with shop occupiers Ralph Davies, of Coast Line Tours, and Rob Connolly of Vertical Adventures outside there new base.