Ramada Hotel to complement Queenstown convention centre

10:25 AM Friday August 22, 2014 Colin Taylor

An artist’s impression of the new Ramada Hotel and suites to be built at Queenstown’s Remarkables Park

Auckland-based development company Safari Group has applied for resource consent to build a 48-room, six apartment, Ramada Hotel at Remarkables Park adjacent to Queenstown’s planned convention centre.

The application lodged with the Queenstown Lakes District Council says construction is planned to start on the $25 million project before Christmas this year.

As part of the continued economic development of the Frankton area, the four-level 5000 sq m hotel is to be built adjacent to the Remarkables Park Town Centre, making it Queenstown’s first ‘airport hotel’.

The hotel will be built in a new High Street area, opposite the new Wakatipu High School and an easy 150 metre, two-minute walk, from the convention centre.

Safari Group owner Robert Neil said the hotel would fill 80 per cent of the development, mostly levels two and three, with the hotel cafe/restaurant and reception area on the ground floor.

The hotel forms part of the Remarkables Park convention centre plans and will encompass 48 rooms with six two and three-bedroom apartment suites on the top floor, catering for up to 120 guests.

A key tenant has already been secured for the café and the complex will also include eight high quality, boutique retail stores, expected to attract leading retail players.

The top floor will feature almost 400 sq m of commercial office space and the building will include 34 underground car parks and 22 outdoor car parks.

The hotel is expected to employ between 40 to 50 people during its construction phase and create more than 20 jobs once opened, aiming to do so by Christmas 2015.

Neil said Remarkables Park’s proposed multi-million dollar convention centre had been a “major motivator” for the hotel development. 

“That’s certainly one of the main reasons behind our decision, but it’s not the only one,” he said. “The economic development and growth of the wider Frankton Flats area is also a big draw card. The evolution of Frankton and Remarkables Park is so significant that we want to be involved. There’s nothing else there like this in the area and we believe it presents a huge opportunity.”

Ramada is part of the worldwide United States-based Wyndham Hotel Group, one of the largest hotel groups in the world with 7800 sites internationally.

Safari Group, an experienced New Zealand hotel developer, is about to open a Quest Hotel in Wellington.

Ramada Suites in Christchurch should be completed later this year and the company is also planning a Quest Hotel in Taupo.

Alan Paris, general manager-special projects for Remarkables Park Ltd, said the site was “perfect” for the hotel, close to the proposed convention centre and airport.

“This will be the first of two planned hotels at Remarkables Park to support the convention centre,” Paris said.

“The Ramada Remarkables Hotel, together with the Hilton Queenstown and The Rees Apartments alone, will supply a combined 440 rooms.

“With shops, cafes and office space Remarkables Park will be a busy place with the heart and appeal of a community that is centred around a retail and hospitality centre where residents can live, work and play.”

Remarkables Park last month lodged a resource consent application to build a multi-million-dollar convention centre, providing for up to 900 delegates.

The striking building will look out to The Remarkables mountain range, Coronet Peak and Ben Lomond, and comprises a key investment for private company Remarkables Park Limited.

Paris said The Remarkables Park convention centre meets or exceeds 98 per cent of the convention centre criteria guidelines published by the International Association of Professional Conference Organisers (IAPCO).

“The conference centre will significantly contribute to the economic welfare of the whole district,” Paris said.

Plans for a second 120-room hotel at Remarkables Park are in development stage.