Tekapo happy with new hotel

Last updated 15:36 04/09/2014
Lake Tekapo
JOHN BISSET/Fairfax NZ
GROWING ATTRACTION: The growing popularity of Lake Tekapo as a tourist destination has meant not only another proposed hotel for the town, but also that existing suppliers welcome the newcomer.

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Tekapo tourist and accommodation operators are welcoming a proposed 110 unit hotel, to help deal with the bed shortage in peak season.

Businessman Anthony Tosswill has bought council-owned land, between State Highway 8

and Lakeside Drive, where he plans to build a four to five-star resort with at least 110 units.

The resort would be developed in two stages and would include about 300 beds, a conference centre, restaurant, gym, sauna, lap pool, shop, hire centre and other facilities.

Subject to gaining resource consent and issuing of a title, construction is planned to start next March.

Tourist attraction Tekapo Springs general manager Cathy Hemmsworth said the development

was great news.

''Absolutely it is a good thing, bring it on. We are thrilled with the news and also very excited about the development along the lakefront.''

Peak season meant there was often a shortage of beds in the town, she said.

''There is a gap in the market, the town can absorb the beds. We have grown year after year

and this provides more opportunities for tour groups, otherwise they will bypass Tekapo.''

Accommodation operators too were pleased with the development.

Lake Tekapo Scenic Resort operator Don Young said Tekapo could easily handle the extra beds.

''In the summer period there is not enough accommodation, December to March is our peak period. We are normally OK over the winter.''

Godley Hotel manager Julia Piper, said the 65 room hotel was booked out six out of seven days over the summer.

''There are a lot more people travelling and self catering, finding accommodation as they go and we are full right through December and January.''

Discover Tekapo's Prue Blake also welcomed the news. Her business manages 30 holiday homes in Tekapo.

''We sell out quite regularly and at peak times there is not enough accommodation.''

The Mantra Group which owns the hotel Peppers and The Residence, 20 luxury apartments, was positive about the development, New Zealand regional manager Ken Harris said.

''Tekapo is an emerging tourism destination and its steady increase in tourism numbers warrants a growth in infrastructure.

''We are proud to have established an early presence in the region with Peppers and Mantra resorts and will continue to support its ongoing potential.''

Originally from Wanganui, hotel developer Tosswill, 62, left New Zealand in 1969. He lives in Malaysia where he owns a resort. He will relocate to Lake Tekapo in October.

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Tosswill has invested in a number of overseas businesses and worked in Australia, the

Philippines and Malaysia. He said those businesses included starting fresh chicken shops in Australia and running a cleaning contracting business.

- The Timaru Herald

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