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Hotel giant spends $2.15m on Whangarei site

The nation’s second-biggest hotel chain is to develop a four-star property in Whangarei after agreeing the purchase of a prime CBD site for $2.15 million

The Dent Street development will be the first for Millennium & Copthorne (MCK) in the city and it’s fourth in  Northland, a region local mayor Sheryl Mai says is in desperate need of quality accommodation.

While final branding of the hotel is yet to be confirmed, the group says the property will carry one of its international banners – likely Copthorne or M Hotel – and will encompass 70-80 rooms along with car parks, a gym, restaurant and bar areas and meeting rooms.

Managing director BK Chiu. said: “A vital enabler to a meaningful and productive visitor economy is accommodation.

“MCK’s new hotel will be part of a nationwide and international network and it will bring visitors to Whangarei. The hotel will provide new jobs and career opportunities and we hope it will enhance and develop other enterprises in Whangarei to the benefit of the wider Northland community.”

Chiu says the under-development Hundertwasser Art Centre will become a drawcard for the city, its development along with the Wairau Māori Art Gallery expected to drive tourism for the region.

Talking about the value of the visitor economy to New Zealand, Chiu said: “The social and economic linkages from visitors, both international and domestic, are wide and deep as are the benefits.

“They include the airlines, rental vehicle companies, petrol stations, transport support services as well as hotels, motels, holiday parks, retail and food outlets, visitor attractions, food suppliers and others”.

The hotel group owns and manages around 21 hotels in New Zealand under the Millennium, Copthorne, Kingsgate, and Grand Millennium brands including properties in the Bay of Islands, Paihia and in Hokianga.

The Whangarei purchase is subject to due diligence and approval by the Overseas Investment Office, if required.

Northland Development Corporation is also eyeing the town for possible accom development, according to mayor Mai, who told Stuff cruise ships operators have expressed an interest in the town due to the arts centre development.

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Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: editorial@accomnews.co.nz

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