The latest project in the Maniototo is tipped to bring significant benefits to the community.
Naseby Vision’s newest project, a summer luge, is hoped to be up and running by early next year, chairman John Crawford says.
The stainless steel luge, valued at about $500,000, has been donated to the group by two families, the Spijkerboschs and the Proctors, who both have holiday homes in Naseby.
Mr Crawford said the luge was originally at Coronet Peak but had been out of service for quite a long time and needed ‘‘a bit of work’’.
The summer luge will run alongside Naseby’s ice luge, on a different course, Mr Crawford said.
The Naseby Summer Luge Trust has been formed to oversee the project and is made up of trustees representing the Maniototo Ice Rink, Maniototo Curling International, Naseby Vision, the New Zealand Olympic Luge Association and the Spijkerbosch family.
Mr Crawford said the next step for the trust was to start market and business›related research into other costs of setting up and operating the summer luge.
‘‘We need to see what the market is for this and get some costings on the engineering stuff.’’
He said the Maniototo Lions Club had offered to pitch in with some of the physical work.
‘‘We think it will be a fantastic addition to the other facilities like the ice sports and mountain biking in the area. It is sort of early days yet, but getting the trust set up and running was the first step.’’
One of the Naseby Summer Luge Trust trustees, Eric Swinbourn, said he expected the summer luge to benefit Naseby and the wider Maniototo district.
Although it was early stages, the project would be a great way of bringing the community together, which would show great co› operation and camaraderie in the area, Mr Swinbourn said.
A big benefit of the summer luge would be its low energy consumption, in contrast to the ice facilities in Naseby, which were energy intensive.
‘‘The luge will virtually have no power consumption, so the running overheads will be low.’’
The summer luge also had the potential to create employment in the area, Mr Swinbourn said.
The summer luge would be the only facility of its kind anywhere in New Zealand.
‘‘It will be unique so if people want to experience it they have to come here [Naseby].’’
Mr Swinbourn said he thought there was a very slim risk the investment into the summer luge would backfire on the trust.
‘‘This other activity will complement the other attractions we have in Naseby.’’
The goal for the trust was to use the summer luge to benefit the other activities and that was what they were hoping to do, with the help of a business model.
‘‘We want to unite what is already in Naseby to a greater degree,’’ Mr Swinbourn said.