Second top hotel gets new owner

Last updated 12:00 10/04/2014

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Two of Palmerston North's three main luxury hotels are to be rebranded, with the Travelodge Hotel sold to an Invercargill-based hotel group for a confidential price.

Distinction Hotels yesterday announced it had bought the 4000 square metre Cuba St hotel, which has a 2013 rating value of $10.43 million, and would be taking over operations on May 28.

The four-star hotel with 85 guest rooms, extensive conferencing facilities, two bars and a restaurant, three shops and surplus land for further development, will be rebranded as Distinction Palmerston North Hotel and Conference Centre.

Distinction Hotels chief executive Duncan Fletcher said the chain specialised in meetings, functions and conferences, and it was bought to grow the company's portfolio in that area.

"We know the demand is there," he said.

With the sale, the Distinction Hotels Group now has a portfolio of 11 hotels in New Zealand.

Travelodge was owned by Australian-based Mirvac's Tucker Box Hotel Trust and was one of its last remaining hospitality assets after it last year sold off a portfolio of other Mirvac-owned hotels to the Accor chain.

Colliers Palmerston North agent Grant Lloyd helped broker the sale, which came after Mirvac in February called for offers in the band of $7m to $10m.

The sale was completed behind closed doors, he said.

Travelodge was originally the Carlton Hotel, which had been built in various stages between the 1930s and 1960s. Sixty-five rooms were added in 2005.

It is the second luxury Palmerston North hotel to announce it will be rebranded this year after the Kingsgate on Fitzherbert Ave, which will become a Copthorne once $4m-worth of renovations are completed.

All 76 rooms are being refurbished in work that is scheduled to finish in May.

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- Manawatu Standard

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