Railway Station space joining DVML hirerooms

Checking out the Porters' Lounge at the Dunedin Railway Station yesterday are (from left) DVML event co-ordinators Nicole Wood and Tania Summers, event manager Ruth MacKenzie-White and sales executive Kate Rollo.  Photo by Craig Baxter.
Checking out the Porters' Lounge at the Dunedin Railway Station yesterday are (from left) DVML event co-ordinators Nicole Wood and Tania Summers, event manager Ruth MacKenzie-White and sales executive Kate Rollo. Photo by Craig Baxter.

It's all aboard for the city's latest conference venue, after confirmation space at the Dunedin Railway Station will become available for hire.

The station's Porters' Lounge becomes the 41st room for hire to be managed by Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML), which will lease the venue from the Dunedin City Council for two years.

Previously used as a restaurant, the lounge is being refurbished before it becomes available as a private function, meeting and conference space, from March 1.

Interest in the space was already high, and one event at the venue was set to be confirmed for iD Dunedin Fashion Week, DVML event manager Ruth MacKenzie-White said yesterday.

The venue was ideally suited to weddings and cocktail functions, and could host about 120 people, she said.

DVML chief executive Darren Burden said the railway station was a ''high-profile space'', and the lounge joined the 30 rooms at Forsyth Barr Stadium and 10 at the Dunedin Centre available for hire.

Bree Jones, of Tourism Dunedin, said the regional tourism organisation frequently fielded requests for space in the building.

''When we have business looking at Dunedin as a potential destination or confirmed business, the first question in regards to a venue is: `Is there a venue in the railway station?'.''

She envisaged the conference and incentive market would also be able to use the services of the Taieri Gorge Railway.

''It gives them the opportunity for some extra business.''

She downplayed any suggestion the city had too many conference venues, as the railway station offered a point of difference, she said.

How will they afford that?

I didn't think DVML could afford to pay the rent on the stadium, they can't even lease the rooms available in this venue and now they are leasing a further venue from the council to use as a conference facility. Maybe after they learn to live within their means they can consider expanding. Just watch them come looking for subsidies to offset this lease when they add that to the costs owed to the ratepayer.

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