InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has closed out all reservation channels for its three Christchurch hotels for the remainder of 2011, as assessment of the earthquake-affected portfolio continues.
All three of IHG’s hotels were impacted by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that hit the city on 23 February this year. The state of the portfolio remains uncertain due to continued limited access.
Crowne Plaza Christchurch: Access is still restricted to the CBD hotel due to uncertain stability of neighbouring structures. It will likely be six to eight weeks before a full structural assessment of the hotel can be made.
Holiday Inn City Centre Christchurch: Engineers are still yet to be granted access to the CBD hotel for a preliminary structural assessment. This is primarily due to safety concerns regarding the Grand Chancellor building, which is adjacent to the Holiday Inn hotel.
Holiday Inn on Avon Christchurch: Damage assessments have determined that substantial rectification works are required before the building can be returned to operational standard. IHG is working with the hotel’s owner to determine the extent of works required to set a reopening date.
IHG’s current priority is the welfare of its people in the disaster-affected region. In addition to assisting to improve the circumstances of individuals whose homes and families were impacted by the earthquake, IHG is redeploying team members across other parts of its Australasian network of hotels and resorts.
To this end, a recruitment freeze has been put in place across IHG’s operations in Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, with preference being given to colleagues from Christchurch who are able to temporarily or permanently relocate. Today, over 320 positions are available across IHG’s regional network.
“Like the majority of businesses in New Zealand’s Canterbury region, this catastrophic event will have a long-term impact on our operations in Christchurch. It is likely to be some time yet before we can determine the full extent of that impact,” said IHG chief operating officer Australasia, Bruce McKenzie.
“Our chief concern at this point though, is to help our people from Christchurch to recover from the effects of the earthquake. We intend to employ as many as possible in our hotels in other parts of New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific region while the recovery process continues.”
IHG is contacting any longer-term Christchurch booking holders who have not already discussed relocation or cancellation with the Group. IHG will continue to waive cancellation fees on any Christchurch bookings.
Accor New Zealand has also confirmed that the company’s three properties in the CBD – Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square, Ibis Christchurch and All Seasons Christchurch Cashel Street – remained closed and are “not taking reservations until August at the earliest”, according to company spokesperson Peter Hook.
Hook said Accor’s fourth hotel in Christchurch, the All Seasons on Papanui Road, was open for business.