Winter Pride owners and organisers Martin King and Mike Hughes (aka South Pacific Pride) have hung up their ski boots, announcing that this year’s festival was their last.

Former Winter Pride owners Marty and Mike.

The duo have run Winter Pride for six years; the festival which was previously known as Gay Ski Week QT, had previously run for 14 years before the name change, most notably under Sally Woods who took over in 2011 running it until Marty and Mike took over in 2017.

Winter Pride has been sold to new directors Sam Coulthard and Odette Rose, who are both local to Queenstown and tell YOUR EX they are looking forward to building on Winter Pride’s “success and growth,” and hope to expand the festival’s reach by, “attracting participants and visitors from around the world.”

New Winter Pride Directors Odette Rose and Sam Coulthard.

They say they hope to inject, “fresh energy and innovative ideas into the festival to evolve it,” while, “supporting and advancing the local LGBTQ+ community.”

Announcing their departure from the festival, Martin and Mike tell YOUR EX, “With the growth of their social enterprise Pride Pledge we now want to focus their efforts on this part of our business which supports rainbow workplace inclusion.”

Martin also points out that after six years running a ‘complex’ festival, “it’s time for some fresh energy and ideas to grow and evolve it into the future which we know Sam and Odette can bring.”

It has been announced that Winter Pride 2024 will take place in Queenstown from Friday 23 August to Sunday 1 September.