Hotel party postponed until tower is cleared

MICHAEL BERRY
Last updated 05:00 07/03/2012
Rendezvous
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Fairfax NZ

READY FOR BUSINESS: Brad Watts, general manager of the Rendezvous Hotel, which is ready to open once the all-clear is given.

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An opening party for the Rendezvous Hotel in central Christchurch on March 29 has been postponed.

Hotel general manager Brad Watts said he could not say when the party could be held because the hotel had yet to be told when the Pacific Tower could be opened to the public. The hotel occupies the lower floors of the tower.

Among the VIPs invited to the party were Prime Minister John Key and Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

The Rendezvous, formerly The Marque, had hoped to open on March 1 in time for the Ellerslie International Flower Show but was forced to abandon its plans after the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority asked for further engineering checks on the tower last week.

Although the hotel is in the red-zoned central business district, the owners had come up with a safe path snaking through the inner city from Hereford St to the Gloucester St hotel.

Pacific Tower owner Ernest Duval said more engineering checks were being carried out on the tower to satisfy the authority, and as soon as they were finished and ticked off, the building would open.

"No-one would want us to be hasty in opening the building without being 100 per cent satisfied in confirming the building is safe."

He could not say when he hoped to have it open because it depended on so many people and organisations, he said.

Many businesses had tried to work towards a target opening date only to be frustrated when it could not happen, and he had learnt from the experience, he said.

There were no safety concerns with the building and tradesmen were fitting out the building as the checks were being done, he said.

The authority has said it will not discuss what checks are being made at the tower.

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