Keep America’s Cup here: shot of Luxury LAS founder and Aotearoa apprentice participant Kyria Warren
Team New Zealand’s flight controller Blair Tuke said “very difficult times” were at hand in the America’s Cup taking place offshore. Video / NZ Herald
A founder of a luxury tourism business says she was inundated with inquiries after she launched a grassroots business fundraising idea to keep the America’s Cup event in New Zealand.
Kyria Warren, of Luxury LAS, said she has been in contact with Team NZ to set a date for a meeting on the idea and said a number of companies have contacted her.
“These companies are pretty passionate about this – they’re asking to join us.”
At the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron meeting where team boss Grant Dalton said he was looking off bids to host the event, Warren spoke about the importance of hosting the Cup America in New Zealand.
Team NZ is looking to host the Cup off after declining an offer of $ 99 million in public money.
She said: “My concern is New Zealand’s economy, it’s the ports, hotels, accommodations, Airbnb owners, taxi and uber drivers, chefs, all of them. these companies win if the Cup takes place here in Aotearoa “.
Warren founded Luxury LAS, which runs high-end experiences on land, air and sea, two years ago just before the pandemic, and it was designed around the America’s Cup event.
“I went from a charter boat to 20 on the water above the Cup. I was then able to expand and offer my clients luxury accommodation options, private jets and helicopters.
Warren, a competitor of The Apprentice Aotearoa, said companies that raised their prices during the Cup would be able to pledge a percentage of their revenue to support Team NZ.
It could be around 5 percent. She said the team would need up-front funding – around $ 100 million from big business sponsors up front, but local businesses could start contributing when they made money while the event was organized. This could represent up to an additional $ 100 million.
She said she had been in contact with Team New Zealand about a meeting to discuss the idea.
Warren said it was obvious, but she was aware of the scale of the challenge.
“Being one of the richest sports in the world, it would take a lot of companies to come together to make a difference. “
After four Covid lockdowns in 2020, Warren knew how difficult it was to be in the tourism industry, how harsh the winter was going to be, and how much the Cup was an award to look forward to.
“ I always feel positive about the idea, I always have the attitude that it’s not over, until it’s over. If we all stop thinking small and start thinking big, we could very possibly put New Zealand on the map.