Manning plans $4m revamp of Queenstown hotel

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Up to $4 million will be spent redeveloping Queenstown’s tired-looking Coronet Peak Hotel.

New owner Tim Manning – who developed the local Greenstone Terrace housing complex – says he’ll upgrade the Arthurs Point hotel to four-star standard and sell off its 82 rooms to individual owners.

The Auckland-based developer has also co-opted Asian-based hotel chain Swiss-Belhotel International to run the property.

Manning’s Norwich Properties bought the hotel, originally built in the 1970s, in a mortgagee sale after both the ownership and operating companies went bust.

It’s believed Manning paid about $5m.

Manning believes his timing couldn’t be better: “As the market comes up you need new product.”

The whole hotel will be upgraded, he says, adding: “It’s just very tired”.

One wing will be refurbished late this year and the other in time for next year’s ski season.

“We’re going to use local tradesmen, local architect, local planners.”

Manning will put the rooms – expanded from 78 to 82 – into separate titles. Manning aims to sell each room, with its own carpark, to owners who’ll earn returns from hotel proceeds and get a few free weeks’ stay each year.

The developer says he hasn’t finalised sales prices.

Manning says he chose Swiss-Belhotel International after putting the management rights out to international tender.

“The reason I chose them is their e-commerce and e-marketing is second to none. And because we’re probably going to sell in Asia, it’s good they’re an Asian brand.”

Based in Hong Kong, the company – which has rebranded the hotel Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak – operates 51 hotels and has another 70 under construction.

More than half its hotels are in Indonesia but it’s also in the Middle East, China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Australia.
Manning says it’s also nice to deal with the company’s Kiwi owner Gavin Faull.

Faull, who bought the company in 1999 with a Hong Kong partner, had involvement with Queenstown hotels 30 years ago when he was chief executive of Kingsgate International.

Opening his first New Zealand hotel in Queenstown is a huge vote of confidence in the resort, he says: “It’s the most coordinated and most together tourism city in NZ.”

Faull expects room rates, after the upgrade, will average $100-$120 which he says is very good value.

First Greenstone, then Whistler, now Coro Peak Hotel

New Coronet Peak Hotel owner Tim Manning is best-known in Queenstown for his 75-unit Greenstone Terrace housing complex.

When completed in 2002, then-mayor Clive Geddes said its appearance on the Frankton Road entrance to Queenstown was “very disappointing”.

Manning reckons it blends in since the shrubs have grown: “It’s one of the nicer ones along there now.”

Manning’s Taradale Developments company also opened The Whistler visitor complex in Queenstown’s Gorge Road in 2002.

Late that year, Manning put the companies running both complexes into liquidation, blaming a co-director.
Greenstone has also since faced leaky-home allegations.

Manning says it wasn’t leaky: “It was so cold inside, because it’s south-facing, it condensated.”

At no cost to the owners, he says the builders put in another layer of insulation.

Mountain Scene in 2011 reported the body corporate and owners were suing the builder and local council for $5m-plus over the leaky-home issue.