RPL announces $58m development

A $58million development project at Remarkables Park will deliver 55 residential and 81 serviced hotel apartments to Queenstown within the next two years.

The announcement came a day after independent research was released by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise indicating a need for 26 additional hotels, above what was already planned, over the next 10 years to meet expected tourism demand in New Zealand's major tourist centres, including Queenstown.

Yesterday, Remarkables Park Ltd (RPL) announced a new Wyndham hotel, to be developed as part of the Wyndham Hotel Group by Safari Group. Construction was expected to begin in March with an opening date of "early to mid-2018''.

Safari would develop a residential apartment complex, a combination of one-, two- and two-bedroom with study units, in a separate building beside the hotel in Market St.

Both complexes would be south of the new Ramada Hotel & Suites Remarkables Park, which opens next month.

The Ramada complex, a $25million project, comprises 54 units on four levels, close to Queenstown Airport.

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said it was an exciting announcement for Queenstown, particularly given the anticipated growth in demand for hotel beds.

RPL chief executive Alastair Porter said yesterday's announcement would help to address the shortage in the visitor accommodation market, particularly during peak times.

Mr Porter said the new Wyndham hotel, which will include nine ground-floor retail units, was "great news for the immediate future, and it won't stop here''.

"We're still deep in talks with other hotel brands keen to potentially bring more mid-range and high-end properties to the resort.

"Remarkables Park is the largest greenfield site zoned for hotels in the region, so it's long been envisaged by [Lakes District] Council and by RPL's development company that a lot of tourism would be centred at Remarkables Park,'' Mr Porter said.

The new hotel, for which an operating brand had not yet been announced, would be Safari Group's 12th guest accommodation property since 2004.

Mr Neil said the decision to move forward with the Wyndham property on the eve of the Ramada hotel opening had been an "easy'' one.

"Demand is still extremely high and Queenstown's continued tourism growth, as well as solid commercial investment and development outside of the hotel industry, are all great indicators that it's not slowing down any time soon.''

The total land size of the development was 5200sq m, with the residential component to be a ground floor plus four storeys of units.

Those would be open to the market to purchase once they had been released, Mr Neil said.

The Wyndham is the fifth development of its kind either under way or planned by Safari Group over the next 18 months, including the Ramada.

The remaining sites are all in Auckland, Mr Neil said.

Last week, RPL unveiled plans for a $25million-plus convention centre, catering for up to 1400 delegates.

That followed the company's announcement in November it was planning a $50million 9.8km gondola linking Remarkables Park to the Remarkables ski area.

The gondola and the convention centre could both be open by the end of 2018.

tracey.roxburgh@odt.co.nz

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