Christchurch’s accommodation and conferencing ability has received a serious boost with the completion of a NZ$25 million redevelopment of Sudima Christchurch Airport, with the two year project now making the property of the largest conferencing facilities in Christchurch.
The property, which opened in 1966 as the White Heron Hotel, has long been a favourite temporary home among visiting dignitaries, international bands, Antarctic explorers and domestic travellers.
Acquired by the Jhunjhnuwala family in 1999, the hotel was re-branded as Sudima Christchurch Airport and became the first member of the Sudima Hotels and Resorts group.
Sudima Christchurch Airport’s NZD$25 million redevelopment was staged over two phases, the first of which was completed in late July 2015 and comprised an entire new wing of 88 new rooms – 68 executive rooms and 20 suites.
The second phase (a new façade, lobby bar and restaurant, and refurbished and expanded conferencing facilities capable of hosting up to host up to 300 in theatre style) is now complete, drawing a close to the hotel’s lengthy construction project.
However, the hotel still has further refurbishment work in its sights for the near future, and is actively seeking investment opportunities in other New Zealand regions.
“Sudima Christchurch Airport is significant not only to us, but to the community,” said Sudima Hotels and Resorts CEO, Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala.
“We have built a strong family-focused team and I’m proud of what they have achieved in recent years, particularly in their tireless support of the many thousands of people displaced by the devastating 2011 earthquake. For three days at the height of the emergency, the hotel was a temporary home to 3,000 guests, as we provided food and shelter to those awaiting flights out of the city.
“The Sudima group is committed to Christchurch, and the current rate of local development shows that Christchurch means business.
“We see our investment as vital to the region’s economic growth as Canterbury regains its leisure and corporate travel foothold during the rebuild.
“Sudima Christchurch Airport was one of the few hotels left after the earthquakes, and with conferencing facilities at very low levels, our expansion has been warmly welcomed by the industry,” Jhunjhnuwala said.