Group still mulling 5-star option for city

Dave Cull
Dave Cull
Scenic Hotel Group says it is continuing work to build five-star accommodation in Dunedin.

The Otago Daily Times reported a year ago the hotel group had plans to establish a five-star hotel in Dunedin.

The company, established by Americans Ralph Brown and the late Earl Hagaman, owns and operates the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross and the Scenic Hotel Dunedin City.

Group chairwoman Lani Hagaman, in a statement, reaffirmed the company's plans to bring five-star accommodation to Dunedin.

City leaders and business representatives remain in the dark about what form those plans will take.

``Scenic Hotel Group is still working through the various processes with our team of consultants to see what we can create in respect to delivering a five-star accommodation option for Dunedin,'' Mrs Hagaman said.

She did not wish to comment on the rejected proposal of Tekapo businessman Anthony Tosswill to build a 17-storey hotel and apartment tower in Moray Pl.

Mrs Hagaman is also a director of Misbeary Holdings Ltd, which opposed Mr Tosswill's proposal.

Christchurch barrister John Hardie argued against the Moray Pl development on behalf of Misbeary, which owns residential properties in the area.

Dunedin City Council acting resource consents manager Phil Marshall said the council had not held any pre-application meetings with the Scenic group or received any application to date.

Mayor Dave Cull said he remained supportive of the proposal, but had not heard any further information about what form it would take.

``I would really welcome that,'' he said.

``I would welcome their developing a five-star hotel.''

Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dougal McGowan said the chamber would be happy to work with Scenic to advance the proposal, but he had not had any discussions.

``We have got to continue to look at how we can create a point of difference to attract a different type of visitor and a five-star accommodation is key to that,'' he said.

``If we want to stay competitive and continue to be a destination of choice, we have to provide that level of service.

``We are very supportive of it.''

Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said he was interested in talking to representatives from the company about its plans, but he had not ``at this stage''.


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