Millbrook property and development manager Ben O'Malley
(left) and director of golf Brian Spicer at Dalgleish Farm,
which the resort has just bought. Photo from Mountain
Destination Queenstown has welcomed news Millbrook Resort
has signed up to buy 66ha of neighbouring farmland, potentially
looking to create a second 18-hole golf course.
DQ chief executive Graham Budd said the potential development
was ''very exciting'' for the resort and golf tourism.
''I think there's already signs we're becoming so popular as
a golfing destination we're reaching capacity for golfers at
some times of the year.
''I wasn't anticipating any more golf development in the
basin. To have them buy the extra land and see that's
potentially [an option] is really good news.''
If Millbrook proceeds with the golf course extension, it
could become the first course in New Zealand to offer two
18-hole courses, the Mountain Scene reported yesterday.
The deal is conditional only on Millbrook's founding Japanese
owners, the Ishii family, gaining Overseas Investment Office
Property and development manager Ben O'Malley said the resort
was ''very excited about the acquisition'' and ''confident''
of obtaining OIO approval, given Millbrook's contribution to
the local economy and the New Zealand tourism industry and
the fact acquiring the land would enable Millbrook to create
further employment and tourism opportunities for the
Four years ago, Millbrook added nine holes to the west of its
18-hole course, supported by substantial residential
development around it.
It has now bought Dalgleish Farm, west of its new Coronet
Nine, to attempt another expansion.
Mr O'Malley stressed no firm plans had been made and the
company would take time to assess options.
''There are some obvious rural lifestyle options that we
could work towards. However, it is the prospect of an
extended golf offering that has us the most excited.
''We'll have a better idea of preferred options once we have
the OIO decision and have been able to consult with relevant
Mr O'Malley said the golf option, again accompanied by
residential development, would probably also be the hardest
route, as it required a council plan change.
However it was also likely to have more benefits both for the
resort and the wider community, he added.
The resort can offer only one 18-hole course at any time,
through a mixture of its three nines.
''In peak times, we experience capacity issues regularly and
so moving to a two-course layout would not only ease the
pressure but also enable us to offer NZ's only two-course
resort complex and double our capacity,'' director of golf
Brian Spicer said.
Local course designer and former golf pro Greg Turner, who
designed the Coronet Nine, has already looked at the new
site's suitability for another nine holes. A member of
Tourism NZ's golf tourism working party, he said the
reputation of Queenstown as a golf destination was growing so
rapidly demand risked exceeding supply.
''Expanding to 36 holes would, to all intents and purposes,
add another course to the Queenstown offering.
''There's international evidence that demonstrates a high
percentage of visitors will stay additional time to play the
second course at a resort.
''That's not only good for Millbrook but also for Queenstown
and New Zealand as a whole, given the high daily spend of the
average golf tourist.
''Given the contours of the upper terrace of the land, with
work and capital investment this land could be changed from
unproductive sheep farming land into a spectacular highlands
attraction, further enhancing Millbrook's reputation as the
jewel in the crown of resort golf.''
John Hart, former All Blacks coach and chairman of the New
Zealand Open organising committee, was also excited about the
potential of a two-course layout.
The Open golf tournament was hosted for the first time this
year by Millbrook, as well as The Hills nearby.
''It means we'll have a great opportunity to consider further
expanding the NZ Open in future years,'' Mr Hart said.
Mr O'Malley said if Millbrook Resort opted to build another
course, it was likely to be five years before anyone teed
- by Philip Chandler, Additional reporting Tracey