Two centres possible – developer

Alastair Porter
Alastair Porter
It would be ''unfortunate from a competition point of view'' if two convention centres were built in Queenstown, but the private developer behind the Remarkables Park centre says ''it's possible''.

Remarkables Park co-director Alastair Porter had ''no doubt'' his centre would be more cost-efficient in both construction and operating costs and therefore, ''we aren't concerned from a competition point of view''.

He declined last week to provide a dollar amount for his centre.

The cost of the Queenstown Lakes District Council-led centre is estimated at $55.5 million and government assistance is expected.

The Remarkables Park proposal was made public on the eve of the council's decision last September to lead the development of a centre. The council is pushing ahead with its own centre at a site above the central business district in Queenstown known as Lakeview.

On Thursday at a meeting in Wanaka, Queenstown Lakes District Council councillors voted to put the proposed centre into the draft annual plan.

Council chief executive Adam Feeley told the meeting those behind the Frankton centre had ''shared'' very limited information, but

on Friday Mr Porter said a five-page ''commentary'' was given to the council ahead of the meeting.

''I think we've shared quite a lot of information, personally,'' Mr Porter said.

Mr Feeley responded by saying the commentary provided

''a lot of assertations, a couple of drawings and not much else''. Definitive facts and figures were necessary if the council was to consider the Remarkables Park centre ahead of its own, he said.

''We just don't have that [from Remarkables Park].''

As to whether two centres were sustainable, Mr Feeley said the Remarkables Park centre was more likely to compete with existing conference facilities.

However, Mr Porter earlier told the Otago Daily Times the council was underestimating the scale of his centre.

Mr Porter said the resource consent application for the Remarkables Park centre would be lodged with the council in May, having first gone through a design review board.

The reason it had not been lodged earlier was because the site was recently changed to one across the road from the original.

Roading networks had been redesigned to accommodate the centre and Mr Porter said hotels were likely to be built around it.

-christina.mcdonald@odt.co.nz