New Zealand Bloodstock are set to add another service to their burgeoning bloodstock business with the construction of a hotel, The DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka, on their Karaka property.

The South Auckland business, which already offers sales, airfreight, insurance, and finance services to the equine industry, will now offer accommodation on their sales complex, conveniently located just 20 minutes' drive from Auckland International Airport.

With 120 guest rooms, including four suites, a restaurant and bar, along with conference facilities, the hotel offers three room types and will be set amongst the picturesque Sales Centre at Karaka.

The first and only hotel to be situated in the Papakura-Franklin area, invited guests yesterday witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony for the project where local MP Judith Collins cut the ribbon to signify the commencement of the construction project.

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"We probably talked about this five years ago, where we really don't have any hotels in the immediate area," Collins said. "With such a major part of our economy coming from the bloodstock industry it's really important that we take care of the accommodation and also the entertainment outside the sales room."

Collins said the hotel would also assist the local economy in the future, providing a number of fulltime jobs. "This is going to provide around 70 construction jobs for the next 18 months and there will be 40 jobs in the Hilton itself," she said.

The Hilton Group, a leading international five-star hotel brand, will operate the hotel under their DoubleTree brand.

"We're thrilled to get construction underway," NZ Bloodstock managing director Andrew Seabrook said. "This hotel will not only be appealing to our international thoroughbred and standardbred clients, but also to tourists, business operators and event organisers alike."

Also in attendance was Heidi Kunkel, Hilton's Vice President of Operations for Australasia.

"The DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka will certainly be a wonderful addition to our current portfolio of hotels across New Zealand," Kunkel said.

- NZ Racing Desk