Just three months since opening, Crowne Plaza Christchurch is setting a benchmark for business success.
The hotel opened to great fanfare as the city records record growth from its visitor economy, the CBD has come alive with the opening of retail centres such as The Crossing and in all more than $1 billion-worth of new buildings are touted for the retail precinct.
In the three months since opening, Crowne Plaza Christchurch has exceeded opening budgets for rooms, food and beverage and conferencing as the ‘new kid on the block’, the city’s largest upscale CBD hotel.
The tourism boost looks unlikely to slow down anytime soon.
Latest Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) figures show Christchurch hotel occupancy for September has increased almost 5% on the same time last year. Other industry reporting also highlights this trend with stronger year-on-year demand for CBD hotels in the 4.5 to 5-star market.
ChristchurchNZ Convention Bureau and Industry Partnership Manager Caroline Blanchfield said visitor spending was increasing year on year, injecting millions of dollars into the local economy.
“The amount of money being spent by visitors in the last 12 months has exceeded pre-earthquake levels, with visitors spending $2224 million in Christchurch and $3472 million in Canterbury in the year up until August 2017, based on Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment figures,” she said.
Blanchfield said it was good to see hotels such as Crowne Plaza opening in the city and doing so well.
“Increasing numbers of visitors are coming to Christchurch as the city continues to emerge, with new bars, restaurants and retail shops opening weekly. It is fantastic to have a range of accommodation providers on board to meet different visitor needs.”
While many new buildings have opened or are about to open in the CBD, construction work continues apace. Yet to come are developments on Colombo Street, smaller rebuilds on Cashel Street, The Terrace, EntX Entertainment Centre and the Victoria Square renovation – all within walking distance of the hotel.
“We’re looking forward to some of these additional commercial projects being completed in the next six to 12 months and the flow-on effect of increasing numbers of visitors and office workers to the city,” said General Manager Reinier Eulink.
Forward demand is very strong especially in the leisure market with guests booking well into 2018.
The hotel’s internal ‘Guest Love’ customer satisfaction survey currently ranks Crowne Plaza Christchurch in the Number One spot for Crowne Plaza hotels throughout Australasia.
“This confirms the hotel is succeeding in delivering consistently great guest experiences and building lifetime relationships with guests,” said Reinier.
The hotel is also booked well in advance for special events coming to the city.
Within those first few weeks of opening, Crowne Plaza Christchurch has already hosted Emirates Team New Zealand, Highlanders and Chiefs rugby teams and corporate groups from Tourism Industry Aotearoa.
It is hosting teams visiting the city for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup starting on January 19 and being played at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval. Both semi-finals will be played in Christchurch on January 29 and 30.
Crowne Plaza Christchurch is also experiencing strong bookings for the month-long Golden Oldies Sports Celebration starting on April 1 2018.
“The city is attracting increasing numbers of international events and we’re delighted to host participants and spectators,” said Reinier.
The hotel is experiencing strong demand for meetings and conferences, with its event spaces proving a major drawcard for the property. With four flexible spaces on offer, the hotel has been a popular addition to the Christchurch market and was also invited to host the welcome event for the Convene South tradeshow in September, introducing the hotel to more than 100 event planners.
The names of the meeting spaces connect the hotel to the early history of Victoria Square and previous hotel owners. The larger Golden Fleece room accommodates up to 150 people and the smaller Ellis, Gartner and Oram rooms are designed to be used individually or combined to cater for larger numbers.
One of the city’s first hotels, The Golden Fleece, once occupied the site of the new Crowne Plaza.