A Queenstown conference centre advocate is urging the council to build a bigger centre than what’s proposed.
Queenstown Lakes District Council last week called for interested parties to submit comprehensive plans for a conference centre that caters for 750-800 people at a location of their choice.
Retired local businessman Lew Gdanitz (right) says the proposed number of delegates isn’t enough – any centre should cater for 1000-1200 people.
“If you go and build something for 750-800 people it will be just like the airport – you will continue to expand it.
At least the airport has hundreds of acres of space, they can keep expanding,” he says.
“The council should just bite the bullet and get it right to start off with.”
A July feasibility study by hotel, tourism and leisure consultants Horwath HTL concluded the conference centre should host a maximum of 750-800 delegates, with spaces that can be used for at least two smaller conferences held at the same time.
Council spokeswoman Jo Blick says council isn’t moving on that number and interested parties wanting to submit plans should focus on this capacity.
However, proposals must consider the need for future expansion, she says.
Gdanitz, behind a stopgap conference centre proposal at the Events Centre while a permanent one is built, urges council to think big.
“There are not that many sites they can expand on to, so why not design the building on the basis that they build it for 1000 people to start off with and then they won’t have to worry about it for the next 10 years?” he says.
“I’m no expert but the people I’ve talked to in the hotel industry and elsewhere say you need something for 1000-1200 people.”
Also read: Time for a conference call
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