Rotorua’s Motion Entertainment set to be tourist magnet

5:01 AM Saturday August 6, 2016 Colin Taylor

An artist’s impression of the entrance to the Motion Entertainment at Lynmore Junction in Rotorua.

Motion Entertainment is set to open its doors in Rotorua this November with the facility being promoted as offering New Zealand’s biggest range of leisure activities under one roof.

Representing Stage One of the $13 million Lynmore Junction development, the fully-leased Motion Entertainment centre will include Chipmunks Playland, Dialled Indoor Tramp Park, Strike Zone Tenpin Bowling, Megazone Laser Tag, Timezone, Escape Masters, Dark Ride, Lumberjax Mini Golf and Revived Bistro.

Ryan Holmes, managing director of the Holmes Group, says the centre will be the first venue of its kind to include a dedicated conference centre which will add to its appeal as an “all-in-one destination” for locals, corporate organisations, domestic and international tourists.

The entire 2.7ha Lynmore Junction project is being developed by the Rotorua-based company on the city’s eastern arterial route of Te Ngae Rd (SH30), less than 5km from the CBD.

“Family entertainment centres have become more sophisticated than ever before, and need to deliver the right mix of conventional activities with leading technology, innovative gaming, special events and party experiences,” says Holmes.

“Motion Entertainment will set a new standard for family entertainment centres in this country,” he says. “It will offer affordable attractions for all age groups, all year round. It is going to be a great hub where people can meet, play, tackle team challenges, celebrate special occasions, enjoy a meal or have a drink. The centre is now fully tenanted and fit-out of the 6085sq m all-weather venue will commence in September.”

Holmes says the conference facilities have been designed to meet the needs of the corporate market. “The mezzanine conference room, which has been engineered to enhance acoustic performance, can cater for up to 150 people and can be divided into three separate areas. Audio visual and catering services are available so it’s the perfect venue for meetings, conferences, gala dinners, team building and promotions. This is all in addition to being fully geared up to cater for private events and birthday parties.”

Holmes says the popularity of family entertainment centres and theme parks continues to grow world-wide with people of all ages seeking safe, quality experiences. “Participatory play attractions such as laser tag are becoming more appealing and sophisticated as technology improves, and the number of trampoline parks has skyrocketed. The indoor trampoline business has doubled in size every year since 2013, with about 550 facilities now open worldwide according to the International Association of Trampoline Parks.

“We have partnered with a number of New Zealand operators like Megazone Laser Tag and Timezone which are importing the latest state-of-the-art technology. A feature called Dark Ride will give Motion Entertainment a real edge,” Holmes says.

“Dark Ride is a thrilling interactive multi-sensory ride where 3D glasses provide the ultimate visuals for blasting zombies, robot cowboys and other characters. The ride has previously won thecoveted Brass Ring Award at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.”

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Part of the interior entertainment area in the Motion Entertainment centre as depicted by an artist’s concept. 

Local operator Adrian Judd, a previous New Zealand tenpin bowling champion and national coach, was one of the first tenants to sign-on to the project. He will be moving and upgrading his entire Strike Zone Tenpin Bowling operation from its existing Rotorua location and also operating two other franchises. 

“We are completely reinventing ourselves with a full fit-out of brand new bowling equipment from the ground up,” Judd says. Fourteen fully-automated lanes will be fitted with more than 4000 LED lights. Together with digital screens and a nightclub quality audio system, we are out to capture the minds of a new generation of bowlers.”

The area called Timezone within the centre will house over 50 of the latest interactive entertainment, video games and high tech prize machines.

“Megazone Laser Tag promises to be a huge drawcard,” says Holmes. “To emerge victorious from the arena, players must evade mines, blast enemies and destroy their opponent’s base. An end of game ‘battle report’ will also reveal individual player statistics.”

The facility’s 1120sq m Dialled Indoor Tramp Park will feature dodgeball, a ninja warrior course and a dedicated bmx/mountain bike jump arena into a foam bag - a nod to Rotorua’s reputation as one of the world’s top mountain biking destinations.  

Escape Masters will open its second New Zealand outlet within Motion Entertainment. Holmes says the real-life escape game is another example of group challenges that will be available for friends, families and corporate groups.

“Teams are locked inside a themed room and have a common goal to break out within an hour. The room is filled with brainteasers, tricky riddles, locks and keys. The game requires critical thinking, time management, strategy and co-operation so we really think people will have a lot of fun with this.”

Established New Zealand operator Chipmunks Playland and Cafe will be part of the complex and offer catered party options for children. Another attraction, Lumberjax Mini Golf, is designed to appeal to families with its Disneyland-type themed design.

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An artist’s concept of the exterior of the Motion Entertainment Centre. 

Motion Entertainment will also be offering tailored programmes and services to schools, community groups and social clubs.

Holmes says the architecturally-designed central welcome and information area will greet visitors as they arrive and Motion Entertainment will be complemented by the fully licensed Revived Bistro.

“Motion Entertainment will really put Rotorua at the forefront of family and tourism entertainment in New Zealand, he says. “We’re expecting around 200,000 visitors a year, with people travelling from all over the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and down from Auckland specifically to pay Motion Entertainment a visit. We believe Motion Entertainment will complement Rotorua’s existing attractions and help fill a large gap when it comes to all-weather options, extending the city’s wider tourism offering.”

In addition to the entertainment centre, Stage Two of Lynmore Junction will feature 15 convenience retail stores and 250 car parks.

BP has been announced as the first major retail tenant to open in late November with a new 3401sq m service station and store along with car parking, a carwash and a Wild Bean Café.

Other tenants confirmed for Stage Two include Flex Fitness Gym and Giovanni’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, with five further leases currently under negotiation. Opportunities still remain for tenancy sizes between 96sq m and 1400sq m.

New traffic lights on Te Ngae Rd, outside Lynmore Junction’s main entrance, are due to be installed in time for Motion Entertainment’s grand opening in late November.

Holmes Group has been responsible for a number of successful land developments and construction projects in Rotorua and beyond, including Eastgate Business Park, Lynmore Lake Vista Estate and Pukehangi Parkland Estates in Rotorua; Golf Links Estate in Waitakere, Auckland; Hawthorn Estates in Queenstown; and Tauriko Trade Park in Tauranga.

 “We believe Rotorua is ideally placed to attract large numbers of both domestic and international tourists who will visit Motion Entertainment during their stay,” Holmes says.

“Combined with the high-quality amenities that Stage Two will offer local residents, we are sure Lynmore Junction and Motion Entertainment are going to be a major success.”

“The timing of Motion Entertainment is perfect given Rotorua’s positive economic outlook and booming tourist industry,” Holmes says.

He says Holmes Group has worked closely alongside Rotorua Lakes Council and Destination Rotorua to ensure Lynmore Junction complements and adds value to the inner city. The privately-funded project is expected to have significant public spin-off with both short and long-term economic benefits for the city as well as contributing socially to the community as an entertainment hub.

In 2014, Destination Rotorua set a goal to achieve annual visitor expenditure of $1 billion by 2030 and has said it is well on track to achieve that target with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimating Rotorua’s visitor expenditure was $705 million for the year ending May 2016.

In June the Bay of Plenty was named the most positive region in New Zealand for the fifth quarter in a row in the Westpac McDermott Miller Regional Economic Confidence survey which found 41 per cent of households believe the region’s economic fortunes will improve over the coming year, with Canterbury coming in second at 26 per cent.

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Ryan Holmes, managing director of the Holmes Group.