Queenstown Marina’s owner has pushed the boat out and bought the resort’s mini golf site by the cemetery and Skyline gondola attraction.

It’s believed American Silicon Valley entrepreneur Iraj Barabi and his sisters bought the plum town centre-zoned site for between $15 million and $20m.

The vendor, Brecon Street Partnership Ltd, is majority-owned by local developer Graham Wilkinson, who quit the site after 19 years’ ownership to concentrate on building more retirement villages.

Barabi, who calls Queenstown his second home, says he wasn’t really looking to buy something ‘‘but couldn’t let this one go’’.

‘‘I’ve always liked Queenstown Mini Golf as it was one of the few affordable, safe, family-friendly activities in town everyone could enjoy.

‘‘Add to that the prime location, the magnificent views and the potential to develop something truly amazing on the site, and this was a no-brainer.’’

The vendor had resource consent approval for a huge hotel/commercial complex, including 393 rooms and 12 tenancies, within the site’s
23-metre height limit.

‘No plans for development’: Iraj Barabi

Barabi, however, says he has no plans to develop at this time.

‘‘There are a wide range of options, and our preference would be something in line with Queenstown’s needs.’’

Meantime, he’ll focus on improving the customer experience for mini golf players ‘‘by improving the course and adding complementary activities’’.

The site, including the business, was sold by local Colliers agents Barry Robertson and Steve McIsaac.

Barabi, who developed the first $20m stage of the Queenstown Marina, says construction of the next stage, comprising about 100 berths,
will start early next year.

As to whether there’s any synergy between his mini golf and marina attractions, he muses: ‘‘They both provide unique options for the community to have some clean fun while enjoying the amazing Queenstown scenery.’’

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