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Is Queenstown poised to bid for Winter Olympics?

Queenstown businessman Bruce McGechan believes the tourist mecca could bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

Mr McGechan has completed a preliminary study, and says the costs come down to seven facilities: five ice rink venues, one sliding venue and a ski jump facility.

He proposes the two required games villages, one in a major city, and one mountain village would be privately funded.

"It would cost the government little more than a Commonwealth Games and is a much bigger event," Mr McGechan said.

Mr McGechan says the biggest hurdle would be providing the required 24,000, two to five star rooms within two zones.

Presently, Queenstown provides 4,700 rooms, Christchurch has 5,700 and Auckland 12,700.

Another issue would be New Zealand's infrastructure. Most major Olympic cities are connected with their mountain counterparts via multi-laned highways or railways. Queenstown's connection would have to be via airlines.

Mr McGechan's plan is reliant on a review by the new Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bank. He has commissioned a report, due early December, investigating the soaring costs of bidding for and hosting the Winter Olympic Games.

Russia spent nearly $100m on the Sochi Winter Olympics, but Mr McGechan believes New Zealand could host for less than $70m.

Mr McGechan's report is currently with Sport NZ and has been shared with the NZ Olympic Committee.

A Queenstown businessman has completed a study showing the idea is not out of the question. Source: 1 NEWS


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