Billionaire Joins the Fight to Save Iconic Queenstown Dirt Jumps

Jul 12, 2021 at 17:40
by Alicia Leggett  

You may remember the Gorge Road dirt jumps in Queenstown, New Zealand, from video parts like the NotBad segment with Brandon Semenuk, Cam McCaul, and Brett Rheeder, or from the time R-Dog gave us the full rundown.

The Gorge Road jumps have faced a turbulent few years and have been scheduled to be torn down, but locals are fighting back to protect their riding spot. The site's future has been in limbo since 2018, but may be decided soon.

The land is owned by the Queenstown Lakes District Council and a License to Occupy (LTO) had been granted to the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club, but that license has since expired and the QLDC wants the land back. Catch up on the full story here.


Most recently, the QLDC said the land would be used for construction material storage, but the final decision has been postponed until August 1. The support for the jumps continues to gather momentum and is now even backed by New Zealand entrepreneur and billionaire Rod Drury, who is a mountain biker and said it would be a shame to lose the jumps, especially after the amount of work that has gone into building and maintaining them over nearly two decades.

Now, according to this video, the city recently closed a public parking lot, citing the need for storage and giving mountain bikers some hope that the city had changed course.

Supporters can sign a petition here.

400 [Failed to load instagram embed]https://instagr.am/p/CROMpr1BvTC&maxwidth=1000


98 Comments

  • 11 0
 Did it!
  • 9 0
 Just did!
  • 9 0
 Signed from Tuga Land
  • 25 0
 Signed. Even clicked "I'm not a robot" when it asked.
  • 7 0
 Brilliant, that's what I was looking for in the article
  • 5 0
 Signed. Cheers @ridestuff
  • 4 0
 Always an absolute drool spot if I find myself in that region. Signed petition this is rediculos. Soo much work and perfect building.
  • 5 0
 Signed from the antipodes.
  • 3 0
 signed from just a little bit more north than antipodes
  • 6 0
 Just did ! If they were going to build a school or a hospital then you could understand but for storing building materials wtf !
  • 3 0
 Done!!
  • 3 0
 Signed
  • 5 0
 Signed, with love, and hope. We can't let human frivolous material expansion ruin the places that make earth the greatest home we will ever know.
  • 4 0
 Less than 500 signatures to reach the 30,000! Let's go guys!!!
  • 28 0
 Sorry, those jumps look too steep for me to ride my e-bike on so why bother? Also looks like the parking spaces aren’t big enough for my Sprinter. I’d rather have somewhere I can easily create content for my Instagram and YouTube.
  • 11 0
 @SangamonTaylor: Sangamon: Well, two things are very clear:

1) Your school had an elective class in SARCASM.

2) You were at the head of your class.
  • 2 0
 In like Flynn...
  • 3 0
 Petitions involving billionaires are trending
  • 2 0
 29,980 have signed. Let's get to 30,000 Signed
  • 3 0
 @suspended-flesh: signed and unsubscribed
  • 2 0
 lets go everyone
  • 3 0
 Yes - I just signed the petition to save the Gorge trails with that link. Everyone should sign it!!!
  • 2 0
 @GT-CORRADO: what’s sarcasm? We need more intermediate flow trails!

(but seriously… i signed the petition. I’ll never be able to ride Gorge Road but visiting it is still on the bucket list.)
  • 3 0
 4 hours later - 30,199 have signed - not many PBers bothered I'd say
  • 3 0
 +1 sig
  • 2 0
 @SangamonTaylor: you are going str8 to hell for being so accurately snarky. I'll say hi when i see you...
  • 2 0
 @Beaconbike: Signed it as well
  • 72 0
 Hang on !! this guy is a billionaire mountain biker ?

Can we get a bike check please.
  • 38 0
 He is the Emperor of dentists.
  • 4 0
 no, that's probably one of the locals, the billionaire is this guy

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Drury
  • 5 0
 Interesting fact (that I learned today from the getting to know video) He used to be Tom Bradshaws Boss too... Small world
  • 11 0
 I would love it if he rode a 2009 Kona Stinky or something like that!
  • 2 0
 @kelpaso: better if he rode a specialized hardrock
  • 37 2
 Word was the fella from Xero might try come to the party. That'd be good. The value of that land cannot be understated, there's only so much space in Queenstown. The council has been pretty cool about it so far. Fingers X for a good result
  • 37 0
 It is amazing that it is even being contemplated. Queenstown's brand internationally is all about having world class outdoor activities. It is a year round tourist Mecca with no significance other industry specifically because of these sort of attractions. For TEMPORARY construction material storage. Madness. Even if they wanted it for permanent use it would make no sense.
  • 9 6
 There's lots of land around queenstown Dave! NZ just has to get past every acre of available land being privately owned. One of the few downfalls of the country, and it's only become more obvious since I returned to BC
  • 12 1
 I read somewhere that he has offered to buy the land and gift it back to the council as a reserve.
  • 32 2
 Did they also have trouble with aggressive males and predators?
  • 28 0
 It's a crime to demolish this jump heaven. CRIME.
  • 23 0
 Never take something like this away from a community, its so easy for this type of thing to not mean jack squat to people who do not have direct interest or ties to it.
  • 21 0
 Exactly. This is going on in Tasmania too, around the EWS-hosting town of Derby. They are logging the shit out of the forests immediately surrounding it.

Council and logging industry don’t give a flying f*ck that this is occurring in one of the worlds best riding destinations.

I’ve tried contacting Kazimer and Levy about this, but received no response . It’s a crime happening in real time . Sorry to hijack this thread , but it needs the attention of the international Mtb community

www.change.org/p/premier-peter-gutwein-premier-gutwein-protect-native-forests-of-north-east-tasmania

www.examiner.com.au/story/7168243/governments-forestry-actions-are-reckless

www.bluederbywild.org/mtb-trails-logging
  • 23 0
 The city queenstown city council will manage to speedrun making an enemy of the entire MTB community if they do.
  • 28 1
 hope they are ready for rogue jumps fucking everywhere
  • 22 0
 I was thinking of making a trip to NZ to hit these jumps.
  • 9 0
 I went to NZ a few years back and spent a shit ton of money there, in part to visit these jumps.
  • 12 0
 You should email their tourism board and tell them that.
  • 6 2
 @piratetrails: We dont allow tourists anymore. Except for Australians, occasionally. Although you may be able to come if you can get a spot to be locked in a hotel room for 14days and are prepared to $2000 for the privilege.
  • 4 0
 @Lloydmeister: on the upside you all have the worlds best covid numbers....
  • 18 0
 For a town with an economy completely dependent upon "extreme" activity tourism, this move seems phenomenally self defeating.
  • 18 2
 So much misinformation & bullshit to this @savegorgeroadjump campaign !
(A) They were NOT built by volunteers, QMTBC funded it construction to the tune of 6 figures back in 2008
(B) They are not solely maintained by volunteers, for Gorge Road's entire lifespan QMTBC has directly funded paid maintenance of the jumps
(C) QMTBC & the Gorge Road crew were aware of the license to occupy ending as long ago as 2017 (4 years ago)
THIS IS NOT A SURPRISE
(D) The local council has been very proactive & working with QMTBC in sourcing a new public location for a replacement jump park
(E) Said local council has committed $200k for QMTBC towards building a new jump park on the new site!

Fact!
  • 5 0
 Bloody Ozzyman has to ruin our whinge with facts. Sad to see it go, but rebuild it better elsewhere and all good
  • 1 0
 I lived in q'town 10 years ago and there was rumours of gorge roads imminent demise back then, plans to expand the area of land it was on and move the jumps further up gorge road, I used to work in the industrial estate literally overlooking the jumps out the back window. Nathan Greenwood wasn't a volunteer as far as I was aware, his trail building company is responsible for lots of the trails around party town
  • 15 0
 Hate to burst your bubble but unspent committed funds aren’t committed until they’re spent. Get them to start building the new site before demolishing the old or you may live a lifetime without a venue
  • 3 0
 who the f*ck cares, Why would you destroy what already exists and works.

Ive never even been close to that place, and it doesnt make sense.

why would you get behind them? Because its not a susprise? Things work like that
LAND CAN BE SET FOR x time, that doesnt mean that it should be exactly that time....
There is still no reason to not have it, the same as it was in 2008....
  • 1 0
 @FastRiding: You ever heard of a thing called progress? or evolution? Things change, scopes change and especially land use changes my friend... Its not like they are being evicted unceremoniously it seems they are amicably working towards a solution.

There is a million reasons why they cant, as you say; "the same as it was in 2008"

-population density
-tourism growth
-infrastructure to support the above 2 points.

Now if the council reneges on their statements of intent, then i will share your rage. But until then, i don't see anything to blow up about.
  • 10 0
 Let's all sign it not just because they're beautiful but because it's an opportunity to take a stand against another jump spot getting torn down. Perhaps with time other cities around the world will see the value in having a spot like this.
  • 9 0
 "the land would be used for construction material storage"

This better be a f*cking joke...
  • 10 0
 Don’t do it!
  • 6 0
 No trip to Queenstown is without a visit to watch the dudes shred at Gorge. Its one hell of a place to sit back and enjoy. Please consider the options QLDC.
  • 1 0
 Hawaii has pipe California has weed Oz has snappers Kiwis have gorges
  • 4 0
 Doubt I’ll ever visit, my town used to have some bitchin dirt jumps back in my bmx days some 18 years ago. and they were torn out for literally no reason. It’s a damn empty lot now. Signed the petition. Screw these old people, young til I die!
  • 5 0
 Does anyone remember the vacant lot with dirt jumps in Vancouver - was around Alma and 4th. Got demolished probably about 20 years ago.
  • 1 0
 Sasamat jumps, then everyone went to the Hamber jumps (oak and 37th) which got demolished for a sports field.
  • 5 1
 How about Rod Drury buy a lot for them to store their materials on so they can designate this a park and leave it alone?
  • 4 0
 Pretty simple, if council decides to destroy Gorge Road DJ, I’ll boycott visiting Queenstown in the future.
  • 7 4
 Billionaires should not exist, but if they must, they should at least save the Queensland dirt jumps. For reals tho, eat the rich.
  • 5 2
 Sorry, Queenstown not Queensland. Jackass American here, please forgive.
  • 1 0
 They say music is the food of love
Let's see if you're hungry enough
Take a bite, take another
Just like a good boy would
Get a sweet thing on the side
Home cooking, homicide
Side order, could be your daughter
Finger licking good
Come on baby, eat the rich
Put the bite on the son of a bitch
Don't mess up, don't you give me no switch
Come on baby, and eat the rich
Come on baby, and eat the rich
Sittin' down in a restaurant
Tell the waiter just what you want
Is that the meat you wanted to eat?
How would you ever know?
Hash browns and bacon strips
I love the way that you lick your lips
No fooling, I can see you drooling
Feel the hunger grow
Come on baby, eat the rich
Put the bite on the son of a bitch
Don't mess up, don't you give me no switch
Come on baby,
  • 3 0
 @BrambleLee: don't be so hard on yourself, at least you knew that New Zealand was in Europe
  • 2 0
 Rod is a f*cking legend. Grew Xero from f*ck all into a global business employing 4000 people, and now funds mtb projects in Havelock North, Wellington and Queenstown. The guy deserves a knighthood, or just free beer in any bar in NZ which is the kiwi equivalent.
  • 6 2
 On my way to NZ to insight a riot over this
  • 26 0
 This provides some good incite in your thinking
  • 2 0
 @mi-bike: friggin' English majors...
  • 2 0
 Signed... It's on my bucket list to hit these jumps some day and is the main reason I want to go to New Zealand. Tearing them down would be a shame.
  • 1 0
 its can't be a bad thing to have the support of a billionaire. hopefully this place stays open. From the videos I have seen, its a magical place indeed.
  • 3 0
 Two Decades, Lodge an application for "Cultural significant site".
  • 2 0
 Even if you can't do a decade (or even a 360 downside tailwhip), it's still culturally significant Wink
  • 3 0
 'Tore down paradise and put up a parking lot.' Signed.
  • 2 0
 It's "paved paradise", but you're spot-on otherwise.
  • 1 0
 why on earth would someone want back a piece of land the has a majestic piece of arquitecture on it?

cant get a grasp please someone explain
  • 1 0
 the right answer would be for the billionaire to buy the land and donate it to the community but for whatever reason I have a feeling that's not how it's gonna go down!
  • 1 0
 Probably revenge for lack of vaccine uptake in young Kiwis.
  • 4 0
 Ha. Would be great if the government here could even vaccinate people over 65, let alone the young riff raff. We just about ran out of vaccines this week. Managed to get enough in on the weekend to hold us over for ten days, but nobody knows if there will be more vaccines turn up this week or next.
  • 1 0
 @handynzl: they cost a shit ton if money and the companies that make them don’t give them away. They’re happy to sell them to governments to give them away on their behalf though.
  • 1 0
 *give them away to other countries that is
  • 1 0
 Just think of the money they’re making to save humanity from this deadly virus.
  • 2 0
 @jclnv: In the UK the government gave them massive grants and tax benefits to assist with the development and production. They're now buying them back so they can get everyone jabbed. Regardless of the cause that's a really crap situation and be in no doubt that they're laughing all the way to the bank.
And after all that double jabbed folk are still getting it... including those in the Royal Navy and government.
During any other situation and in any other industry, multiple heads would be rolling
  • 1 0
 signed for you guys fingers crossed
  • 1 0
 In other news Pinkbike sold us out!!!
  • 1 0
 Signed!
  • 1 0
 Signed
  • 1 0
 Sorted....
  • 1 0
 Also signed
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