QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND: Queenstown’s Millbrook Resort marked an important milestone last week (March 6, 2013) celebrating 20 years since it first opened its gates.

Now employing almost 250 staff, the luxury golf and lifestyle resort is the largest in the South Island, contributing extensively to the local economy over the years.

Known the world over as one of the most picturesque golf resorts in the world, Millbrook is still privately owned by the Japanese family who created the development in 1993.

Founders Eiichi and Hiroko Ishii and their son, managing director Gota Ishii, together with Gota’s wife Miki and daughter Milly, are at the resort to join in the festivities and represent three generations of the Ishii family.

Eiichi Ishii said he and his family were “immensely proud” to have reached such a significant milestone in the resort’s history.

“Over twenty years ago our family’s vision was to create a nice place for nice people, a place where everyone could come and enjoy the wonderful lifestyle and surrounding scenery,” Ishii Sr. said.

“Staying true to the land’s history was important from the outset, and we’re thrilled to have created an award-winning luxury golf resort while maintaining the beauty of the natural environment. Our coming of age cements Millbrook’s position as a trusted golf and lifestyle resort that’s stood the test of time.”

A special event to celebrate the birthday was held last Friday (March 8, 2013) at Millbrook’s Clubhouse and attended by the Ishii family, Country Club members and other guests.

When the resort first opened in 1993, there was no health and fitness centre, swimming pool or spa, the golf shop was housed in what is now the Hole in One bar, it boasted an 18-hole championship course designed by Sir Bob Charles and accommodation was in a small number of Hotel Villas.

Fast forward to 2013 and now Millbrook has 147 hotel rooms, multi-million-dollar homes and a range of neighbourhood ‘clusters’ scattered around the existing and newly-developed areas bordering the new 27-hole course (the original Sir Bob Charles course re-configured and an additional nine holes added in the mid 2000’s by Turner McPherson Golf Design).

It has a purpose-built driving range and a number of restaurants, as well as new spaces catering perfectly for weddings, conference and incentive and other meetings.

It has its own real estate company Millbrook Realty Ltd to cater for sales and re-sales, and the resort’s success has been widespread with properties re-sold and new developments unveiled annually, including Taramea Square, McEntyres Tarn, Coronet Square and the recently released Mica Ridge.