New hotel rooms at top of list

Getting extra hotel rooms is one of the region's priorities, Marlborough District Council chief executive Andrew Besley said yesterday.

He said the council had a good meeting last week with Scenic Hotel Group about its contract to run the Marlborough Convention Centre. The contract is under review after five years, and Scenic Hotel Group has yet to build the promised extra 44 hotel rooms.

Mr Besley said the meeting was an "initial scoping meeting" because the contract doesn't expire till December next year.

It was too early to say what would happen with it at this stage.

"We just made the point that the council and this community are really keen to have the extra hotel rooms. It is one of our priorities."

Scenic Hotel Group was awarded the contract to manage the convention centre in 2007, after promising to upgrade its hotel in Henry St and add 44 rooms to it.

The hotel's existing 56 rooms and the public areas of the hotel have been upgraded as required, but the 44 rooms have not been built. The hotel has resource consents to do the work, which are valid for another four years.

The Marlborough Express