Rotorua Daily Post health and business reporter

Site earmarked for hotel sold

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The lakefront land proposed for a new hotel development. Photo / Stephen Parker
The lakefront land proposed for a new hotel development. Photo / Stephen Parker

Plans for an $18.5 million hotel development on the shores of Lake Rotorua may have hit a snag - with the land where it was planned being sold.

International hotel chain Wyndham Hotel Group announced plans for the new hotel in September 2014 and it was expected to open last December. However work on the site is yet to begin.

The major development at the lake end of Whittaker Rd was expected to include a mix of 68 hotel rooms and one and two-bedroom apartments as well as a geothermal health spa, onsite restaurant and bar, swimming pools and conference facilities.

During construction as many as 100 people were expected to work on the project with 10 new jobs once operational.

However, a Wyndham Hotel Group spokesman said the company was aware the 1.8ha land for the Ramada Lakeside Resort and Spa had since been sold to a Chinese entity.

All the consents processes for the development had been completed by the previous owner.

"We have had some verbal indication that they [new owners] may wish to continue the project, but we have not yet received anything formal in writing."

The spokesman said they were trying to contact the new owners to confirm this.

"We believe the project has great potential and would still like to see it go ahead."

The spokesman said the company had also recently rebranded its Marama property to Ramada Resort Rotorua Marama, so visitors to Rotorua could enjoy the service and experience offered by the global brand.

Meanwhile, another hotel planned for nearby is still going through the resource consent process.

The 100-room hotel is planned for empty land on Bennetts Rd that is zoned residential. The proposal has attracted more than 120 objections.

The application is temporarily on hold while Rotorua Lakes Council waits for further information from the applicants addressing issues raised through submissions.

The next steps could include a pre-hearing meeting with the applicant, the council and submitters, or the applicant could choose to undertake a public consultation process.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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