As developers pour millions of dollars into projects in Queenstown, a smaller neighbour is also reaping the benefits.
Frankton is getting a new hotel and a $50 million gondola leading to the ski fields, and much more is planned.
From empty paddocks comes a new 54-room hotel, nestled at the base of The Remarkables.
It’s the picturesque setting the region is so famous for, but it’s in Frankton – a 15-minute drive from downtown Queenstown – and it’s growing fast.
“It’s already the twin town centre, and within five years it will be equal in size to the downtown,” says Remarkables Park CEO Alastair Porter.
Remarkables Park already houses a bustling retail centre and is primed for a massive expansion.
Developers are expecting a total of $2 billion-worth of investment there by 2025. That’s at least six hotels, 70,000 square metres of retail and offices and a convention centre.
Hotels and apartments will back onto the Kawarau River, with a 10-kilometre gondola up to a ski field.
“So the development on the waterfront is going to start with a ferry terminal,” says Mr Porter. “The conference centre and the gondola base station will be here.”
But back in Queenstown, many see the development as an add-on rather than a twin town centre.
“The vibrancy and energy of downtown Queenstown will always remain highly appealing,” says Destination Queenstown’s general manager of marketing Graham Budd.
It’s a view shared by the council.
“Frankton has the advantages of being flat, sunny, and being great for retail and residential, but not really a great tourist spot,” says Queenstown Lakes District Council CEO Adam Feeley.
Mr Porter disagrees.
“It’s too small to be able to cope with the scale of growth that we have coming to Queenstown,” Mr Porter says.
But everyone agrees on growth. Population is swelling, with tourism growing at 10 percent per annum.
The spoils will go to those who seize opportunity and deliver on their promises.
Source: 3 News
6 January 2016