Adventure park developers seek more investors video

KIRK HARGREAVES

Todd Blackadder is looking forward to the construction of Christchurch Adventure Park

Developers behind a $20 million bike park in Christchurch's Port Hills are vowing to start building next month, despite needing another $5m.

Local contractors have been engaged and all 36 resource consents are in place to allow the Christchurch Adventure Park to go ahead.

But Canadian developer Select Evolution is now calling on more investors to come forward to help close its $5m gap.

Select Evolution founder and chairwoman Fiona Sutton shows Crusaders Coach Todd Blackadder the location of a $20m ...
KIRK HARGREAVES/FAIRFAX NZ

Select Evolution founder and chairwoman Fiona Sutton shows Crusaders Coach Todd Blackadder the location of a $20m adventure park in the Port Hills.

The project has already secured $15m in funding including a bank loan and investment from the United States, Singapore and New Zealand.

"I'd love to talk to anyone who can help us get over the line," Select Evolution founder and chairwoman Fiona Sutton said.

"There are a lot of people out there who want to be a part of it who have not come forward."

Crowd-sourced funding was also something the company was considering doing to raise the money.

Select Evolution has already decided to delay the construction of five lodges, and 14 cottages accommodating 252 people and a mountain coaster, which dropped the total project cost from $25m to $20m. These were not integral parts of the project and could be built further down the track, Sutton said.

It would be good to have the scope to add something new to the project after it was developed, she said.

The park, located on 358 hectares of forested land between Dyers Pass, Worsleys and Summit roads, would still include more than 100 kilometres of downhill mountain bike routes, a 1.8km chairlift that would take people up 435 vertical metres, 2km of zip lines through the forest, rock climbing, and a cafe bar seating up to 180 people.

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"This will be a world class project and we can't open anything other than a world class facility," Sutton said.

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The land is owned by McVicar Holdings and would be leased by Select Evolution for a 50-year term.

Sutton said she hoped to have the park open in December 2016, subject to having the full funding in place.

"This community has to have this park open. The economic benefits to the city are huge. We just need a little bit more help from the city."

Sutton said her company was completely committed to getting the park open.

"I've put my life on hold. We have to get it delivered."

The park has received unprecedented support at a national, regional and local level and has been endorsed by the tourism sector and the mountain biking community, Sutton said. 

More than 600 people wrote submissions to the Christchurch City Council supporting the company's resource consent application. The Government has granted the project $2m through its tourism growth partnership programme.

Sutton said in 40 years developing facilities all over the world, she has never seen such widespread support for a project.

Canterbury Cycling Development Trust chairman Darron Charity said he was confident the park would raise the additional money needed.

He believed the park would attract more visitors to Christchurch and New Zealand, especially given the proven track record of the developers.

Project supporter and mountainbiker, Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said he was excited about the park, which would provide Christchurch with a real point of difference. 

"It's going to be a destination that will enable locals and tourists alike to play all day and it's all right here on our back doorstep."

 - Stuff

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