The first major accommodation complex in Queenstown’s world-renowned wine-growing area of Gibbston is opening soon.
Pending council sign-off, Kinross Cottages, off the main state highway, will take guests from September 1.
The first stage of the complex is seven colonial-style two-unit, self-catering cottages.
They can be either let as family accommodation or as 14 studios for couples or two singles.
The Kinross General Store, providing a delicatessen/convenience store for guests and coffee and wine tastings for passers-by, will open late next month.
The grounds are also being extensively landscaped with facilities, particularly for children, including a playground, BMX pump track and putting green.
The complex sits on 15 hectares of vineyard land bought early last year in a mortgagee sale by the family trust of Hamilton-based John and Christine Erkkilas for just over $1 million.
The couple also own boutique accommodation in the North Island.
John Erkkilas co-founded mortgage broker New Zealand Home Loans which is now wholly owned by Kiwibank.
The land, formerly Anthem Vineyard, had been owned by developer Dave Henderson, who’d had ambitious plans for the property include 60 villas, a chapel, cooking school and conference facility.
The Erkkilas’ local project/operations manager Jeremaia Fisk says they’re trying to create ‘Destination Gibbston Valley’.
“Gibbston hasn’t been known as an accommodation venue in the past.”
Fisk says they’re aiming at Kiwi visitors and wine and cycle trail tourists.
“We modelled our business on 35 per cent occupancy, the national average, but we’re looking at about 50 per cent for the summer coming which we think is really good.”
Studios are selling for $225 a night and family cottages for $350, while a group like a wedding party can book out the venue for $3000.
The development is named after Gibbston founder Thomas Kinross who ran the Kinross Station Trading Post on this site in the late 1800s.
Fisk says the complex is a credit to design and build partner Fowler Homes.
The fact the first stage is opening only 18 months after the Erkkilas’ bought the property is also testament to the support of neighbours, Fisk says.
Sixteen neighbours signed off the non-notified resource consent including highway operator NZ Transport Agency.
The consent allows up to 18 cottages as well as a bike/maintenance shed.
The website for the complex is www.kinrosscottages.co.nz.