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Unveiled: An artist's impression of the Grand Mount Earnslaw Hotel proposed for Glenorchy

Resource consent’s being lodged next week for Glenorchy’s Grand Mount Earnslaw Hotel, on the site where the original Mount Earnslaw Hotel once stood.

For the first time, Mountain Scene can reveal what developer Douglas Rikard-Bell has in mind.

Rikard-Bell’s company, Blackthorn Ltd, bought the vacant 8079sqm site in March.

The original 23-room hotel opened in 1880 and burned down in 1959.

Rikard-Bell’s been working with a team of architects and landscape gurus on the plans, which he believes will help re-establish a lakefront destination in the town.

The hotel would have a total of 64 keyable rooms, including some “little attic rooms” in the main development and six “boathouse” rooms, with interconnecting doors, on Islay Street.

Food and beverage will be housed across five separate buildings facing Mull St.

“We’ll obviously have to bake our own bread out here, so we may as well set that up in our own little building and be our own bakery, and then you maybe don’t have to be a guest of the hotel to buy something fresh from the baker’s oven.

While the hotel can cover 80 per cent of the site, the plan covers just 30 per cent – the trade-off being Rikard-Bell would like to build higher, to two storeys plus the attic.

A hedge is planned in front of the hotel, centred around a “grand room”, but there’s no plan to fence the site off.

“What we’ve tried to do is keep that lawn free of development … We don’t mind not fencing our holding so Glenorchy can continue to picnic and play and walk across our front lawn – I think it’s pretty important, that little green bit there just helps with the current lakefront landscaping.”

Rikard-Bell’s asked for the application to be notified, and for a hearing in front of three independent commissioners to fully canvass the community’s views.

tracey.roxburgh@scene.co.nz