InterContinental Hotels Group has significantly expanded its relationship with one of New Zealand South Island’s largest privately owned companies, The Carter Group. Both parties today signed a Joint Venture agreement to purchase Parkroyal Queenstown for more than NZ$20 million. As part of the agreement, InterContinental Hotels Group and the Carter Group will also invest a further NZ$6 million to completely refurbish Parkroyal Queenstown in May and June 2005, immediately prior to its re-branding as Holiday Inn Queenstown.
The agreement will be a significant extension of InterContinental Hotels Group’s relationship with The Carter Group, which owns Holiday Inn Christchurch and Centra Christchurch-both operated by the Hotel Group. In addition to the Queenstown joint venture, the partners will re-brand Centra Christchurch to Holiday Inn City Centre Christchurch before the end of 2004.
The completed re-brandings will bring the number of Holiday Inn hotels in Australia and New Zealand to twenty, with construction on New Zealand’s most recently announced hotel-Holiday Inn Wellington-due to commence soon. Upon signing of the current agreements, Carter Group will become InterContinental Hotels Group’s single largest owner partner in New Zealand.
“Six months ago, we announced that one of InterContinental Hotels Group’s key objectives for 2004 is to significantly increase the presence of its global brands in New Zealand. Having already invested approximately NZ$50 million in the purchase of InterContinental Wellington during 2000, this added investment of our own funds is further evidence of our serious intent to expand in this market,” said InterContinental Hotels Group Managing Director Asia Pacific, A. Patrick Imbardelli.
“The Carter Group’s commitment to working with us in the brand’s expansion in New Zealand demonstrates confidence in its appeal and ability to provide returns on our combined investment.
“Cementing our position in Queenstown is crucial to expanding our presence in New Zealand - especially considering the growing number of international travellers and investors making their way to Queenstown. With strong offerings in Queenstown, Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch, we will be in a position to extend our operations in other parts of New Zealand,” Mr Imbardelli said.
The Queenstown Holiday Inn adds to the Carter Group’s increasing portfolio of retail, office, hotel and development properties and further reinforces The Carter Group’s commitment to investment and development in New Zealand’s South Island. “With our investments, we aim to acquire good properties and add value to them. The Queenstown Holiday Inn is a good example of this,” said The Carter Group Principal, Philip Carter.
“The Parkroyal Queenstown is in the best location in town, with good occupancy rates and a great deal of potential. It was built in the early 1970s and over the years has become a local icon that has played a fundamental role in the development of Queenstown’s tourism industry. Its role in the community will be enhanced with the extensive refurbishment, and the re-branding. The renovation will combine the contemporary design elements of some of Asia Pacific’s most popular Holiday Inn hotels, while retaining features unique to Queenstown.
“The Carter Group is pleased to expand its relationship with the InterContinental Hotels Group which shares many of our own Group values, not least of which are trust, integrity and respect. It’s the sharing of these common values which has formed the basis of our new expanded relationship,” Mr Carter added.
InterContinental Hotels Group currently owns InterContinental Wellington, and manages six other New Zealand properties including Crowne Plaza hotels in Auckland and Christchurch, Holiday Inn Christchurch, Parkroyal Queenstown, and Centra hotels in Auckland and Christchurch.