InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) remains committed to maintaining a presence in Christchurch despite the announcement that one of its three hotels in the city, Crowne Plaza Christchurch will not be rebuilt in the wake of the February earthquakes.
IHG managed the hotel under its Crowne Plaza brand on behalf of building owner, Eureka Funds Management.
Eureka late last week (August 18) briefed employees of the hotel, who have remained on full pay since the earthquakes six months ago, on the ruling from structural engineers to demolish the hotel.
Eureka also confirmed that the hotel will not be rebuilt, primarily due to rising construction costs resulting from changes to the Christchurch building codes.
In light of the news, IHG’s immediate priority is working with Eureka to find redeployment opportunities for those of the Crowne Plaza’s 160 employees willing to relocate, to other hotels in New Zealand, Australia and worldwide.
“Today’s meeting gave closure to our Christchurch colleagues who have been waiting for the structural engineers to provide their assessment on the hotel. Our first order of business is providing fresh opportunities for those of our colleagues who are willing to relocate from Christchurch,” said IHG Australasia Chief Operating Officer, Bruce McKenzie.
All three hotels under IHG management in Christchurch – the Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn City Centre and Holiday Inn on Avon – sustained significant damage during the earthquakes that devastated the city in February.
The Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn City Centre are located in a section of the Christchurch CBD that remains closed to the public six months after the devastating earthquakes, as city officials and contractors take necessarily cautious steps toward restoring the city.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done to determine what the future holds for IHG’s presence in the city, particularly with assessments still pending on the two Christchurch Holiday Inn hotels under IHG management,” he said.
“That said, we’re working closely with the City of Christchurch, our partners and the industry to determine that future, with every intention of remaining a part of this city,” McKenzie said.