I’m outta here, says Kawarau Falls boss

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Uncertainty caused by the giant development’s receivership has caused a Kawarau Falls Station hotel boss to jump ship and leave Queenstown.

Scott Robertson, who arrived four months ago to prepare the resort’s luxury 178-room Westin for its March 2010 opening, left last week to run the 594-room Conrad hotel at Queensland’s Jupiters Casino.

“The uncertainty drove him to leave,” local friend and Millbrook Resort boss David Onions says.

Six weeks ago, Bank of Scotland International appointed receivers to Auckland developer Nigel McKenna’s billion-dollar Kawarau Falls project, where 500 construction staff are employed.

Receivers promised contractors would continue to be paid during a two-week financial audit but have yet to announce whether stage one of the development will be completed.

Robertson had been here “on a long-term basis and would have made a big contribution”, Onions says.

“He’d got a pretty good advance order book and was very much looking forward to taking delivery of the hotel before Christmas.”

Robertson had come from overseeing the $35 million refurbishment of the Sheraton Fiji Resort.

Meanwhile, RHE Mechanical boss Warwick Stalker, who’s taken on 24 staff for the project, says “we’re continually progressing”.

“There has been no word to say stop doing this or stop doing that – we haven’t been restricted on any ordering.”