Bridget Legnavsky, Cardrona Alpine Resort
Bridget Legnavsky is the general manager of Cardrona Alpine Resort, which in recent year’s has been blazing a trail in terms of NZ skifield’s developing their summer offer. Winter is still the main event though with the resort undergoing $15m of investment to construct NZ’s first cabin-style lift in time for the 2017 season.
Title: General Manager
Job description: Sit back and chillax while an awesome team run Cardrona and drive it into the future.
What is the most satisfying aspect of your job? Working with an incredibly positive team who just want to learn and keep getting better. The pride of what we have achieved and where we are heading in the future.
What is the toughest part of your job? FOMO (fear of missing out).
What is the biggest challenge facing tourism today? Balancing the cost of investment required to keep up with the growth and expectations of people. People come to New Zealand expecting quiet, calm and space but in a lot of places, we are becoming crowded. Clearly, this is great for the short-term but we need to think sustainably and not be naïve enough to think we will get away with this.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be? More honest, open collaboration so that we can make the whole New Zealand experience exceptional. If we could all think really big on this we would offer our visitors more consistency and an overall much better experience.
Why did you decide to work in tourism? I actually decided to work in ski and that developed organically into tourism. It makes a lot of sense now as I grew up in a family-run tourism operation [Tekapo’s Air Safari]. So, I feel at home!
Describe your career path: I was a skier, ski instructor, ski trainer and coach, ski school director, events manager, Cardrona services manager, then general manager. I worked in the USA, Japan and Europe as a ski instructor and skied in most places around the world as a competitor and demonstrator.
I did a BPhEd and later a post graduate in business excellence. I am in the process of completing my MBA. My first job was selling and coordinating scenic flights for my father’s company.
What have been the major challenges/rewards you’ve faced in your career?
Keeping working throughout having kids – both a challenge and an enormous reward. I believe they are better for it and have a great understanding and respect for the working world.
Has there been a role model or any other type of inspiration that’s motivated you in your career?
The people around me at Cardrona. They drive me and support me to be my best.
What are you preoccupied with at the moment at work?
I don’t let myself focus on one thing… too much opportunity cost.
What advice would you give women thinking about entering the industry today?
Keep learning, listen fiercely, make and take time to reflect, say yes to any opportunity, speak your truth, and keep focused on what is important.