Relief for owner as motels open at last

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 08:30 08/02/2013

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A new motel complex is up and running in Aoraki-Mt Cook Village.

The Aoraki Court 25-unit motel, situated between Glencoe Lodge and the Mt Cook YHA, opened for bookings late last year. However, developer Andrew Hocken said there would be an "official opening" in May.

"We've had a soft launch, to be honest, it's just great to have it finally up and running, it's been a long time coming."

Mr Hocken said the company went through a "long, and occasionally frustrating" process after applying to the Conservation Department for a concession in July 2006. DOC granted the concession in October 2010 and the Mackenzie District Council approved the building consents application in 2011.

Consultation documents released to the Herald revealed several Aoraki-Mt Cook Village-based concession holders did not approve of Mr Hocken's proposal.

"That might have been the case back then, but we haven't had any issues since we began building. We were just left alone to do our thing, which was good," Mr Hocken said.

"It took longer to complete than we initially hoped, but it's often the way up in Mt Cook. It's a variable environment, and you get all sorts of weather extremes. But to be honest, it's been pretty plain sailing since we got the concession, it does make you wonder why it was such a hassle."

Mr Hocken said although the interiors of the motel were complete, there were still some "final touches" on the external landscaping to be completed before the official opening in May.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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