Auckland next for HIE following $60m NZ debut in Queenstown

An artist’s impression of the proposed Holiday Inn Express in Queenstown. Credit: Pro-invest Developments

Holiday Inn Express is expanding to Auckland following its $60m New Zealand debut in Queenstown.

The Australian developers of the proposed 227-room Queenstown hotel, Pro-invest Group, plans to open a number of sites across the country in the following years.

“We are currently negotiating the acquisition of a site in Auckland and hope to add further properties in New Zealand in the near future,” said Tim Sherlock, managing rirector of Pro-invest Group’s development arm, Pro-invest Developments.

Pro-Invest announced yesterday it planned to debut the Holiday Inn Express brand in Queenstown. It has lodged a resource consent application with Queenstown council and hopes to start building later this year.

The hotel will sit on the Bungi Backpackers site on the corner of Stanley, Sydney and Melbourne Streets.

“We are committed to developing a high-quality Holiday Inn Express hotel that will be a landmark building at the gateway to Queenstown,” said Sherlock.

“One of our key aims is to be the hotel of choice for the area, providing quality accommodation for the leisure market as well as the corporate and meetings market with reasonable prices and friendly and professional service standards.”

Designed by Queenstown architect Preston Stevens of McAuliffe Stevens, the hotel will comprise 227 rooms in two three- and four-level wings and have a maximum guest occupancy of 450.

Features will include a fitness centre and a conference room for meetings and functions.

An artist’s impression of the proposed Holiday Inn Express in Queenstown. Credit: Pro-invest Developments

“The architecture is a kinetic interplay of ice and rock,” said Stevens.

“The underlying concept of referencing the natural landscape will be instrumental in achieving a design that’s a positive fit with the immediate urban environment and wider natural landscape.”

The hotel is expected to open in 2018/2019 and would create more than 750 jobs during construction. Around 15 staff would be employed by the hotel, which will also provide onsite accommodation for the majority of its permanent employees.

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said: “We are very supportive of this development and welcome the new Holiday Inn Express to Queenstown. Queenstown has continued to experience growth over recent years with strong visitor numbers and expenditure.”

Total guest nights for year-end December 2016 were up 8.3% over prior year, to 3,506,750. Total visitor expenditure topped $2.1bn at the end of 2016.

“Coupled with the strong visitor numbers, we would anticipate strong demand in the accommodation sector,” said Budd.

“It is positive to see continued investment in Queenstown and we welcome the addition of new hotel capacity.”

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