Thursday, 19 April 2012

42 Things To Do in Christchurch

We love working away here in the motel office while listening to MIKE YARDLEY’s CANTERBURY MORNING Monday  to Thursday.  Its fast paced, honest and Mike asks the hard questions when they need asking!

One of today’s topics was “Essential Christchurch. What are the 30 great things to see and do in Christchurch?”  Lots of people rang in and talked mainly about local attractions but we thought there must be some “only now in Christchurch things” and came up with the quintessential list of 42 things everyone should do while here. Actually we came up with 41 things to do and Jeff's Aunty - a Residential Red Zoner - proposed the 42nd. thing to do which sits at 41 on the list.
Every visitor should do all these things……. which CAN be done!

  • Visit the site of the Cardboard Cathedral.
  • Stand in front of Museum and pray it opens soon.
  • Walk round the Red Zone.
  • Support a business within 1 block of the Red Zone.
  • Visit Re:Start Container Mall.
  • Use the 2 hr. free City Council car park.
  • Watch a demolition!
  • Eat in a container!
  • Drink a coffee or beer in a Container!
  • Pee in a container.
  • Shop in a container.
  • Listen to NewstalkZB morning show with Mike Yardley.
  • Take a picture of a road cone.
  • Decorate a road cone.
  • Walk through the Gardens.
  • Get a picture of the biggest truck with “DEMOLITION” written on the side.
  • Vote to save the Cathedral.
  • Take a picture in front of the large RWC Cup in Hagley Park.
  • Go Punting.
  • Feel an earthquake.
  • Feed the ducks, and eels in the Gardens.
  • Get great NZ cheese at Canterbury Cheesemongers.
  • Buy an earthquake momento – postcard of demoed building, aftershock socks or T-shirt etc.
  • Eat at a rebuilt restaurant.
  • See the White Lights of Hope at night.
  • Take a bus tour and see the city.
  • Talk to a local about their earthquake experience.
  • Try and work out who is the boss in Christchurch; Bob, Gerry Warwick or Roger.
  • Go to a café in the day and a gay nightclub at night in the same building.
  • Take a picture in front of the HSBC building – the real seat of power in Christchurch.
  • Look down Colombo St from Peterborough St to the remains of Cathedral Spire.
  • Look down Worchester St from the river to see the remains of the Cathedral.
  • Turn your GPS off & don’t eat while driving to safely navigate the Red Zone and road closures.
  • Visit & experience a Gap Filler project.
  • Say Hi to the Town Crier.
  • Take 5 and enjoy and support a busker.
  • Drive or bus out to Sumner.
  • Drive or Bus out to Lyttleton
  • Go to Deans Bush & feel the history.
  • Visit a local market.
  • Take time to walk through some of the residential red zone to gain an understanding of why people have to move.
  • Stay in a Motel.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Red Zone Bus Tours – bring them on

Yesterday we blogged about how we intend to offer Free Red Zone Bus Tours to our guests (see the finer details here).

Today we emailed the details to NewstalkZB’s Mike Yardley and he covered what we are doing in a 2 minute special on air!! He also said he would keep an eye on what we were doing so we look forward to reporting what actually happens.

You can listen to the sound bite here;

Jeff then, by chance followed up by ringing into the Flash Reaction Poll and having a quick chat to Mike live on air about the proposal as well!

Later in the afternoon Jeff did an over the phone interview which (maybe) will be used in radio news etc. tomorrow….tune in people, tune in!

For us, this is a bit of PR we cannot buy for love nor money but we now have to deliver on the promise and know Mike will be watching us!

But not only that, this is a continuation of our battle to get the word out that the city centre is still here!!  We do our bit when we can and we are looking forward to this being a chance to once again promote the Christchurch City Centre and all the great things it still does have and we welcome the challenge.

We are also proud that our social media efforts have been transcribed into real, on air time on mainstream media….not bad for a 12 room motel.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Free Red Zone Bus Tours* for our weekend guests!

CERA has announced a new round of Red Zone bus tours.  Bus companies have been asked to submit tenders and the tours may be operating as soon as May.  We will make them free for weekend guests!

We welcome this news and look forward to the start date being announced.  We hope it will be a boost to the local economy as the peak season tourist dollar dwindles and we enter the quieter months of the year.
An online poll in The Press overwhelmingly says locals don't want to pay to see their city centre but such negativity is probably more aimed at Cera’s control of the area people once freely walked.  This time, people will be able to access this cordoned area and paying for the costs involved is reasonable.  People will have a choice whether to take the tours or not after all. 

We believe the tour will appeal to visitors to Christchurch who want to find out about just what happened and why the barriers are still up so long after the main event.  One recent visitor to Christchurch commented on our Facebook page “As a tourist there this time last year, I would have happily paid to A) get a sense of what was going on and B) put some money in the coffers for the rebuild (which was part of our reason for not cancelling our trip in Apr/May 2011!) as we wanted to support the local economy in any way we could!”  and we are sure other visitors to Christchurch will feel the same.
At the estimated $10 per person this could be a great 1/2 day activity for visitors when combined with a visit to the museum to see the earthquake exhibit there.  We’re sure a creative operator could quickly put together an inventive tour including hand outs and possibly even video explanations.  We're obviously stuck with this Red Zone cordon for quite a few months to come so if this idea can entice people to Christchurch as we enter the quieter months of the tourist year it may well help some people pay some bills.  If that's the case it gets a "like" from us!

(Convention Centre, looking through from Peterborough Street to the Town Hall)
Bus tours, like last year will probably run on weekends, when deconstruction work is at a minimum and demand is there and this will tie in well with the weekend glut of accommodation which is already clearly visible.

At CentrePoint on Colombo Motel, we will pay up to $10 each for up to 2 persons per room for direct reservations guests who stay with us on Fri, Sat or Sun nights until the end of August and take the Red Zone Bus Tour – YES! it’s free when you stay with us and you get to stay just 1 block from the edge of the Red Zone northern boundary. *Subject to terms & conditions.