Andrew Cox Imperium Group EDITED

Imperium Group, owned by Melbourne-based New Zealander Andrew Cox, has acquired the leasehold rights to boutique property The Spire Hotel in Queenstown.

Cox says the move is about expanding the company’s hotel interests and take advantage of the global travel market’s growing appetite for luxury boutique accommodation.

The Spire Hotel is located in central Queenstown’s Church Lane and boasts 10 luxury rooms overlooking St Patricks Church with views to Lake Wakatipu. It has an in-house bar and restaurant known as No.5 Church Lane, and Boardroom conferencing facilities.

The Spire Suite room EDITED

“The Spire Hotel acquisition is a strategic opportunity to expand the product range of the Imperium Collection in Queenstown,” Cox says.

“The Imperium Collection offers travellers to Queenstown the choice of boutique city style accommodation at The Spire, a traditional luxury experience at Eichardt’s Private Hotel or the exclusivity of the separate Private Residence and Lake Front Apartments all tailored to the high-end luxury traveller.

“The Imperium Collection now encompasses twenty luxury suites catering to a broad range of tourism and business traveller needs,” he said.

Cox is the owner and operator of the nearby Eichardt’s Private Hotel on the Wakatipu shoreline, and operates a diversified investment group of businesses across Australasia including the Australia and New Zealand TGI Friday’s master franchise, GarageSmart and Wardrobe World home storage solutions, and Australian Graphic Supplies (one of Australia’s largest import distributor of visual and signage graphics consumables and equipment).

The company revealed earlier this year that it is also assessing sites to expand its TGI Friday’s restaurant business into New Zealand, of which there are currently ten in Australia with one under construction.

The acquisition comes at a time of major expansion for the Imperium Group, which has plans to open a luxury boutique hotel similar to the Eichardt’s experience in the tightly held Auckland waterfront area.

“In the North Island we are in discussions with Auckland developers to establish an equally premium and exclusive hotel property on the Auckland Waterfront – a location that is certainly calling out for high end, design-focussed lodging with an emphasis on personalised service,” Cox said.

The recent announcement by Skyline Enterprises of an intended $6 million retail and mixed use development at the existing Eichardt’s Private Hotel signals potential further opportunity for the Imperium Group to expand its hotel operations with the tourism leader. It has been revealed a luxury penthouse apartment with extensive balconies is planned for the top floor of the development.

“It is exciting to see this level of invigoration and activity in New Zealand once again. We are very confident in the New Zealand tourism market and our hotel interests both in Queenstown and Auckland are geared for a long term focus of attracting discerning visitors who demand a premium product,” Cox said.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management