General Manager appointed for iFLY Queenstown
A Queenstown business leader with wide-ranging tourism industry experience has been appointed General Manager of the most exciting new tourism venture to launch in New Zealand this year.
Matt Wong, 40, will bring his strong business and operational management skills to iFLY Indoor Skydiving, New Zealand’s only indoor skydiving wind tunnel and Queenstown’s most exhilarating new adrenalin experience.
Construction of the building housing the $15million wind tunnel in a stunning location in the heart of Queenstown is well underway, with the attraction scheduled to open in mid-winter.
iFLY Queenstown is a project between SkyVenture International which manufactures iFLY wind tunnels and Auckland-based couple Emma and Gary Beyer, former skydiving world champions from the UK and the US.
Matt, who starts his new role in early June, says he “can’t wait” to be working on such an exciting and unique adventure tourism activity.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity to help launch and manage the most dynamic business to enter the Queenstown tourism market in years,” he says.
“iFLY Queenstown will be accessible to a wide demographic because it’s safe for all from three years upwards while still having the adrenalin factor.
“It’s perfect for all the new and emerging growth markets for tourism, and as it can continue to operate when the sun goes down and in any weather it fills a gap in the market where there’s not a heck of a lot of options for adventure tourism, and especially families, in the evenings.
“Thanks to Emma and Gary the company has a small ‘Kiwi’ feel to it with two passionate skydive professionals at the helm who are driven to make this thing work, with the backing of a global ‘family’ of experts in the iFLY international arena.
“To have directors who love what they do and are as passionate about flying as they are has been make or break for me. I can’t wait to build the team and the business and look forward to seeing how far we can take this dream of flight in the next three to five years.”
Matt’s most recent role has been as General Manager for Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters in Queenstown, including overseeing and driving business for Queenstown Snowmobiles, the Franz Josef i-SITE Visitor Centre and helicopter operations in Franz Josef.
He was previously General Manager of the Queenstown i-SITE Visitor Centre, and World Travellers Queenstown and Wanaka.
iFLY Queenstown co-director Emma Beyer describes Matt’s appointment as an “important step” towards launching the business and growing a dedicated team of management and skydive professionals from around the world.
“For anyone who’s ever dreamed of flying, this is for you,” she says.
“Being in the wind tunnel is exactly the same freefall sensation as when skydivers jump from a plane, only you can safely float with no parachute, no jumping and no gravity pull towards Planet Earth!
“We’re delighted to have Matt on board to help bring this unforgettable experience to life, one that comes with 100% pure flight loaded with adrenalin, adventure and attitude.
“It will leave visitors grinning from ear to ear and is just as safe for kids as it is thrilling for teens and challenging for adults.”
iFLY Queenstown is located in Brecon Street, overlooking Queenstown Bay and the Remarkables Mountain range. Once open, it will operate every day of the year, come rain or shine. On-site facilities include a 360-degree viewing platform so visitors can share the magic with friends and family, and a bar and café.