Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Hamilton to get new luxury hotel

SkyCity says the new 4.5-star hotel will allow the casino to accommodate its VIP and international clients. Photo / APN
SkyCity says the new 4.5-star hotel will allow the casino to accommodate its VIP and international clients. Photo / APN

Construction on SkyCity Hamilton's new $35 million 4.5-star hotel will begin by the end of the year and the luxury 135-room facility will be completed at the end of 2014.

SkyCity Entertainment Group confirmed yesterday that it had been granted board approval to build the three-storey hotel on top of the existing casino complex on Victoria St after three years of planning.

The facility will include a five-lane swimming pool, a gym and sauna room, eight luxury duplex suites 8sq m in size, 16 large suites with balconies facing the river, and 111 standard rooms decorated in a similar style to SkyCity Auckland's hotels.

There will be a grand atrium with a water feature in the centre of the hotel complex and the geodesic dome at the front of the building will be retained.

The hotel entrance will be at the lower ground floor level near the casino's carpark entrance on Alma St.

The development was approved by the board at its annual general meeting this week and the group reported revenues of $950.7 million for the 12 months ended June 30, 2012, up $73.7 million on last year.

The Hamilton casino, and the core Auckland business and international business contributed to the group's success.

SkyCity Hamilton general manager Arthur Pitcher said the Hamilton business had experienced strong growth, particularly in the Asian market, for the past three to four years.

He was excited the hotel was finally under way and would enable the casino to accommodate its VIP and international clients.

"We are seeing a rapid increase in Asian business in Hamilton casino and we want to be able to service it properly," he said

"A lot of the VIP business happens at the weekend and a lot of the conferences in the town happen midweek so it probably fits quite well."

The development will also address the perceived shortage of hotel accommodation in Hamilton which has been blamed for the council's Claudelands Event Centre losing business.

The new hotel will boost the number of hotels in the CBD from two to three.

The exact number of new jobs to be created is not known at this stage.

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker said it was good to see continued investment in the city, especially when it needed more high-quality hotels.

Hamilton and Waikato Regional Tourism chief executive Kiri Goulter said, ood growth in visitor guest nights and new conference facilities, there was growing demand for high-end accommodation in the region. The lack of hotels had been a barrier in the past.

Meanwhile, SkyCity is still in negotiations with McConnell Property over whether its planned three-storey food and beverage precinct on the Victoria on the River site will be developed at the same time as a four-storey office block the Auckland-based developer is planning.

BOOKED IN

* 4.5-star hotel.
* 135 rooms, including 8 luxury duplex suites and 16 large suites with balconies facing the river.
* Grand atrium with water feature.
* Five-lane pool, gym and sauna room.
* Entrance and hotel lobby by casino's carpark entrance.

- NZ Herald

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