Local and international visitors and business travellers will be able to stay in the heart of Ashburton, following the announcement from Scenic Hotel Group that it will operate a new 60-room hotel in the Eastfield Precinct.
The new hotel, being constructed by Eastfield as part of the new $40 million, 10,548m2 development, will respond to growing demand from the local visitor industry. The hotel will be situated on Burnett Street, next to the Braided Rivers Restaurant and Bar, and feature a quality food and beverage offering as well as meeting rooms and other business facilities.
The Scenic Hotel Group is New Zealand’s largest independently-owned and operated hotel group, currently operating 18 hotels throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific.
Eastfield Investments chairman Brian Davidson says the hotel introduces another key anchor tenant into the Eastfield Precinct – one that promises to bring more life, activity and investment into the centre of Ashburton.
“This new hotel development will mean both tourists and business travellers can stay in the centre of town. This will put them right in the heart of the CBD, where they can support local retailers and hospitality businesses, take part in events and help give the town centre the ‘buzz’ our business community says it needs,” says Mr Davidson.
“We are particularly pleased to have attracted an expert, quality operator in Scenic Hotel Group who shares our vision for the centre of Ashburton. They have demonstrated their experience and understanding of the local market, welcoming both business travellers and families, groups and individual visitors over many years.”
Scenic Hotel Group executive director Lani Hagaman says the new hotel will fit the market perfectly.
“There’s a really great business to be established in Ashburton, with lots of support from local businesses and the community,” says Mrs Hagaman.
“Being a four-star property, the new hotel will cater to a part of the market not currently served by the hotel sector. People that are coming into town for a conference, business meeting or sporting event, or travelling through the South Island, will appreciate the choice it provides.”
As well as creating a number of new local jobs and bringing more tourists into the centre of Ashburton, the hotel has the potential to create wide-ranging benefits for the region.
According to a recent report from hospitality and tourism consultant Chris Black, the Ashburton District also needs quality accommodation for the large number of sporting events and activities in the EA Networks Centre and at Lake Hood, as well as offering the business community a location for overseas clients and guests, trainers and visiting staff.
The conference market, supported by the Ashburton Trust Event Centre, which has capacity for up to 500 delegates, has also increased demand for local accommodation.
Mr Davidson says the announcement of the hotel agreement underscores the progress being made on-site at Eastfield.
“We were also very pleased to welcome our new tenants into the purpose-built Ministry of Social Development building earlier in December,” says Mr Davidson.
“What was particularly satisfying about this project – our first major build on-site – was that it was achieved ahead of time.”
Mr Davidson says Eastfield Investment’s Board has also been heartened by the level of confidence shown in their vision for focusing investment and growth on the centre of Ashburton.
“These tenants – one a leader in New Zealand’s largest industry, the other representing the New Zealand Government – can see the distinct benefits of bringing more activity, essential services and business development to the centre of town.”
“We believe this is the best way to secure the future of our community, rather than seeing the town become hollow at the centre with fragmented services spread around the periphery.”
Construction is expected to be underway before the year’s end.