All age groups love coming to ‘The Rocks’. We know because they tell us. From the littlies with their fluffys and lollycake, to the Senior Citizens group, enjoying an outing for lunch, we cater to all ages. During summer we have a diverse cliental, a lot of road bikers, dirt bikers, push bikers, trampers and tourists. During winter, the skiing and snowboarding fraternity, the workers on the Mountain and winter businesses.
School Holidays are particularly busy for us along with Secondary Schools, skiing and Boarding competitions.
We are open all year round, and even when quiet, maintain our opening hours.
People know they can rely on us to be open. Our slogan, ‘Meet your friends and family at ‘The Rocks’ works because people know we will always be open, when they are planning an outing, and so many of our competitors are only seasonal.
Since adding the deck area the last years have been a huge growth period for us. We have had to take a step back, manage better, employ key staff, and have the funds available to do this. Any of our improvements have been self funded from real profit. This growth in the business, has allowed us to enjoy a great quality of life, in the town we wish to live, in a business that we love.
We have grown the business steadily over the years, making sure not to over-commit to any new improvements until we could afford them out of revenue.
Living through eruptions during ’95 and ’96 with our previous business, taught us some real life and financial lessons.
In 2008 we saved up and built our outside deck area. A great extension for summer, but soon realised to take full advantage of the extra seating, it would need to be covered and heated.
As funds became available after the 2009 ski season, we covered the deck, put in a big screen TV and sound system installed gas heaters.
During this time we battled with council to get the additional area licensed. Ruapehu mayor Sue Morris helped us with this dilemma – council wanted $30,000 in lieu of car parks.
We ended up on her recommendation, filing our grievance with the environment court for $55 and council dropped their objections and restrictions, but only after several months of council meetings, transit reports, and frustration. Councils must be more pro-active if we are to reinvest in our businesses, generate growth, employment, and provide services to international standards.
We are happy to report, car parking costs for businesses have relaxed in the past few years.
By increasing our seating capacity all year round by 30, we have had to increase the level of service and staffing levels during an amazing growth period.