Jet boat link work set to start
GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Moves to begin a new jet boat ferry service from downtown Queenstown, and construct the first building of a boutique village destination it will be serving, will start early next year.
The jet boat ferry service will link downtown Queenstown and a boutique precinct to be built on the Kawarau River's banks, with both projects backed by big Queenstown developer Remarkables Park.
Remarkables Park director Alastair Porter told The Southland Times the company's recent acquisition of a major stake in O'Regan's and St Omer wharves was a catalyst to link Queenstown's CBD and major developments on prime riverside land owned by the company near its Remarkables Park Frankton town centre.
"Initially the jet ferry service will be a great option for Frankton commuters and tourists wanting to get to the Queenstown CBD from the Frankton Arm of Lake Wakatipu, but both projects are a key part of progressing the development of our integrated master plan," he said.
That master plan includes the development of a resort village complete with high-end retail, boutique bars and accommodation built on lush riverside flats that will connect with Queenstown's newly opened cycle trail network - which is tipped to become a major tourism drawcard.
A plan change that became operative in mid-November cleared the way for further expansion of the Remarkables Park town centre, and the company applied for resource consent to double the footprint of the retail development from 30,000 square metres to 60,000sqm during a four-stage expansion.
However, the company is not trying to compete with Queenstown's central business district. "We want to provide sustainable growth to Queenstown's ever growing tourism market.
"If we provide more attractions both tourists and locals will have more places to go and more things to do, and that means tourists have more reasons to stay for longer, which is good for Queenstown as a whole," Mr Porter said.
Resource consent applications would be filed for alterations to the existing wharf structure to allow the jet boat ferries to dock, and the jet ferry service itself, early next year.
Commencing the ferry service would depend on the the speed of the resource consent process, and construction of the first building of the boutique precinct, where jet ferries would dock, was expected to be complete by the time the service launched, Mr Porter said.
- The Southland Times