Experts put hotel to test before reopening

SARAH ARGYLE
Last updated 05:00 04/09/2012
Head housekeeper Kaye Scales-Thain makes final preparations at the Ibis Hotel ahead of today’s reopening.
DAVID HALLETT/Fairfax NZ

FINISHING TOUCHES: Head housekeeper Kaye Scales-Thain makes final preparations at the Ibis Hotel ahead of today’s reopening.

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Fifty people from the hotel industry have tested a central Christchurch hotel's beds, food and showers before today's reopening.

The Hotel Ibis in Hereford St will be the first in the central city to reopen after the earthquakes.

The 50 people from the industry had to ensure the hotel was ready for the opening, two years to the day of the September 4 quake.

They stayed on Friday night to watch movies, taste the food and check the rooms.

Although the hotel has only a handful of bookings, Ibis manager Tim Dearsley predicted that would soon change.

“I'm expecting a snowball effect and that by the end of September we'll be in a strong position."

He said the reason for choosing to reopen on such a significant date was to send a signal that Christchurch was ready to welcome back travellers.

“The way I see it is that people coming to stay will be part of the renaissance of the city,” he said.

Restaurant supervisor Wendy McGoverin said it felt great to be back in the centre of the city.

Head housekeeper Kaye Scales-Thain will attend her second opening of the Ibis. The first was in 2007.

“I've lived in Christchurch for nearly 60 years and for some parts of the CBD, the buildings were obsolete. Having new builds is an excellent opportunity to have a modern city,” she said.

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- The Press

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