The Californian native and father was 69.
Mr Carlin’s interests in the resort included developing the The Waterfront Apartments and Lakeside Estates, now known as Oraka, in the 1990s.
Most recently he opened the ‘beyond five-star’ hotel The Carlin, which he dubbed his ‘‘retirement project’’.
In March, he listed the seven-storey 14-suite hotel building for sale with an asking price of $35 million.
He was also involved in a high-end hotel, being developed on the corner of Brecon and Man Sts — he sold the development site to Augusta Capital in 2019 for $13.95m but was retained as a development consultant.
In June, 2020, Carlin, at the time based in the Gold Coast, announced he was also launching a private jet service from Australia’s East Coast to Queenstown once the travel ban was lifted.
While he’d intended chartering a Dassault Falcon 900, with capacity for 13, for Aussies coming to The Carlin, he believed there’d be enough demand for at least weekly flights once the trans-Tasman bubble opened.
A talented musician — Carlin was a concert pianist, often seen tinkling the ivories at The Carlin’s Oro Restaurant, and also played guitar, drums, Irish whistles and saxophone — composed 14 orchestral pieces in 2003 for The Princess of Wales album, performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, which reached number 23 on the NZ music charts.