Casino giant SkyCity has folded its cards on plans for a five-star hotel in Queenstown.

He marketed a 1ha site on Frankton Rd, bought for $16m in 2019.

SkyCity Entertainment Group had planned to build a world-class hotel with more than 100 rooms that could have accommodated high rollers playing at its Beach St.

It would have had lake and mountain views.

Subject to a change in the law, it could have included an in-house casino, transferring the license from its currently closed Wharf Casino, although the company kept its cards close to its chest on this possibility.

The local office of Warren and Mahoney Architects was to design the hotel after winning an architectural competition.

A SkyCity spokesman confirmed the 1.0153ha site – the acquisition of which needed Overseas Investment Office approval – had been listed with Colliers Queenstown.

As to why it was selling, the spokesperson said “the sale aligns with the company’s current strategy.”

Colliers markets the site, midway between Frankton and Queenstown’s CBD, as “the largest vacant lakeside development site along Frankton Rd”.

The information memorandum states that with appropriate zoning for high-density development, the location of the site, “combined with the moderately sloping outline and natural terraces down to the foreshore, helps to provide d ‘superior winter over other places to the east and west … which are more shaded by Queenstown Hill’.

Having approved access to the national road also added value, he suggested.

The property’s last capital valuation was $17.6 million.

The sale deadline for 633 Frankton Rd was originally next Thursday, although it is understood that it could be pushed back by a few weeks.

By Philip Chandler


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