Convention centre costings due in March
GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Queenstown's proposed $50 million council-backed convention centre has advanced a step in the long process to becoming a reality, but a competing, privately-funded $40 million Remarkables Park centre is still on the cards.
During last week's final Queenstown Lakes District Council meeting of the year, a marathon debate on the convention centre resulted in a resolution being passed which allows council chief executive officer Adam Feeley to enter into negotiations with commercial developers on the council's preferred site, known as Lakeview, overlooking Queenstown Bay.
The resolution also accepted a convention centre master-plan by Populous, the international company behind London's Olympic stadium, Brazil's Football World Cup stadium and Dubai's 2020 World Expo Centre. Auckland architects Fearon Hay are also contributors to the master-plan for the centre.
Council officers will report on the progress of negotiations to council in February, and a report on costs and ratings implications will be tabled with the council for its March 27 meeting.
Meanwhile, Queenstown's Hilton Hotel general manager Andrew Nisbet said the international chain would happily manage a convention centre at Remarkables Park, but would not fund its construction.
"The location has ample opportunity for further growth and the logistics would really work as a combined hotel-convention centre."
Having run convention centres in previous professional roles, Mr Nisbett knew it was a unique market and that it could be marginal profit-wise unless there were "extras" attached.
- The Mirror