China-based investors have snapped up a prime local
site destined for a new hotel and it is tipped to boost
Chinese tourism into Queenstown.
Queenstown Ray White agent Buzz Scown confirmed a group of
investors based in China had bought an excavated,
hotel-consented 1.2ha site, behind Frankton Road's Pounamu
Apartments, for $3.6 million.
The same group had also bought an adjacent 1923sq m site, off
Panorama Tce, for $1.1 million, he said.
Mr Scown said the Chinese were keen to build a hotel using
the resource consent originally obtained for the site in 2008
by a company belonging to bankrupted developer Dan McEwan.
That consent - extended this April for another three years -
was for a 103-room five-star Hilton Hotel, but work stopped
after the site was excavated.
The Hilton chain ended up managing the Kawarau Falls Station
complex, on the other side of Frankton Arm.
The site has been owned for the past three years by
Palmerston North investor Keith Marriott, who had it listed
for $3.5 million.
Mr Scown recently also brokered the sale of another local
accommodation-zoned site owned by Marriott, beside Rydges
Lakeland hotel, for $3.2 million.
Mr Scown said his Chinese buyers, who also wanted to build a
hotel in Auckland and possibly one in Christchurch, liked the
Frankton Rd site because the hard work obtaining a resource
consent had already been done.
''Internally, they may look for some slightly different
layout but it will all be done on a compliant basis.
''They're on the job - they don't stop for Christmas.''
Mr Scown added that, unlike apartment developers, they were
not interested in selling down individual units.
It was likely they would also target Chinese tourists to
further boost the country's fastest-growing visitor market,
In March this year, Prime Minister John Key, who is also
Minister of Tourism, told a business audience a Chinese hotel
should be built in New Zealand.
Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said he
could only speculate on what a Chinese hotel would do for
''I would hope new investment would be about targeting growth
in visitor numbers [from China].''
As for the site purchase itself, Mr Budd said: ''I think it's
a positive thing and not unexpected; we probably should
"The Chinese have been investing internationally for years -
they're just getting to NZ.''
Chinese make up the second-largest group of tourists coming
to New Zealand, with more than 230,000 visiting the country
They are the fifth largest visitor group to Queenstown, which
gets about 15% of the Chinese visitors to New Zealand.