Locations considered for new hotel

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By the map: Three potential sites being considered by the Invercargill Licensing Trust as a location for development of a new hotel.
Photo: ICC Graphic: Southland Express THE Invercargill Licensing Trust (ILT) has had architects draw up designs and is considering several potential locations for a new hotel in the CBD, but there are still no firm plans for the development.
ILT president Alan Dennis said it had been considering a new hotel for several years, but it could cost more than $64 million.
‘‘It is not a decision which can be taken lightly because we are using public money. It is a huge commercial decision… Most of the time extra accommodation is not needed.’’
The ILT wanted to ensure if it did build a new hotel it was ‘‘in sync’’ with the revitalisation of the CBD, and a long›term investment, he said.
Mr Dennis confirmed sites being considered included the corner of Don and Dee Sts, The Southland Times building on Esk St, which the trust bought last year, and behind Wachner Place.
The board and management had discussed the need for a new hotel with the HW Richardson Group, he said.
‘‘[We] understand their needs and want to work with them to see their needs satisfied in our future plans.’’
HW Richardson Group director Jocelyn O’Donnell said the company’s Bill Richardson Transport World was attracting many visitors from outside Southland and it was important Inver› cargill could provide sufficient accom› modation for all sectors of the tourist market.
‘‘With tourism being identified as an opportunity for growth we would support any new venture that would assist in bringing people to Invercargill and improving their visitor experi› ence.’’
Venture Southland tourism team leader Warrick Low said there was a potential demand for a new hotel on the back of ILT Stadium Southland, transport world, tourism growth, and growth in Queenstown.
Events companies considered the accommodation capacity of a city when deciding where to host an event, he said.
‘‘I don’t believe we have lost an event because we don’t have a five›star hotel, but we may have lost events because of lack of capacity. A new hotel would help revitalise the city… and give residents something to celebrate.’’
Later this year the stadium is hosting the New Zealand Gymsports Cham› pionships, and the World Sheep Shear› ing competition will be held there in February next year. Both are expected to attract over 900 competitors plus supporters and spectators.
ILT Stadium Southland general manager Nigel Skelt said to accommo› date participants, organisers were con› sidering using school hostels, establish› ing a tent city and/or billeting competitors with city residents.
However, he said there was insuf› ficient continuity of events to justify a new hotel in the city at present.
‘‘At the moment we are coping, and we are getting good feedback on the quality of the hotels we have.’’

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