Ibis Hotel re-opens after more than a year
Mon, 03 Sep 2012 6:18p.m.
By Jessica Rowe
A hotel on the edge of Christchurch’s red-zone will re-open tomorrow on the second anniversary of the September earthquake.
The Ibis Hotel has spent $10 million on repairs and is the first of five major hotels set to re-open in the coming year.
The fences have finally come down around the central city hotel, open for its first customers in over a year-and-a-half.
“It's huge,” says hotel manager Tim Dearsley. “It's fantastic. Well over a year of hard work and a lot of money spent, [with] 165 people working on the hotel most days, and we are ready to open.”
Hotel manager Tim Dearsley, along with more than 100 workers, have spent months getting the 155 rooms back in shape, spending $10 million on repairs following the February 2011 earthquake.
The eight-storey hotel on Hereford St is right on the edge of the red-zone and is in front of the square, with views of the corroding cathedral.
Out the front door, it's deserted. The red-zone is at its doorstep, and across the road there are quake-damaged buildings and empty lots, but it's perfect if you are a quake tourist.
Some of the city’s big hotels have already gone. The Crowne Plaza has been demolished, and the Grand Chancellor is being taken down floor by floor.
CERA says the cordon around the entire CBD will be lifted in stages over the next 12 months.
“It's tentative,” says CERA cordon manager Brenden Winder. “We're looking at the middle of next year. We expect the CERA-controlled cordon to be gone or significantly diminished.”
Tourism numbers are down 15 to 20 percent since before the quakes. With the opening of the Ibis, the challenge now is to get restaurants and bars going again.
“If people can stay in the city, they can play in the city,” says Tim Hunter of Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism. “Right here, with the re-start mall next door, that has been very successful.”
The hotel will host its first guests tomorrow.
“It will be a great feature for people coming in town that in the past had to stay outside of the city,” says Mr Dearsley.
He expects to be inundated with bookings from earthquake tourists keen to see the rebuild of the city.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
4/09/2012 11:33:53 a.m.
This is excellent news! And provides a much-welcomed sense of normality and excitement back to the Christchurch residents. Well done Ibis Hotel for your dedication and efforts in restoring this landmark back into operation in the Christchurch CBD.
A stranded orca has been rescued from the Kaipara Harbour af...
In Khandallah, in Wellington, there is a a piece of road whe...
An Auckland car dealership has been sentenced for what Trade...
Christchurch's red zone areas are gradually being emptied of...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.