New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key officially re-opened the Ibis Christchurch hotel today – the first city centre hotel to open since the February 2011 earthquake.
The Prime Minister was on hand to unveil a commemorative plaque and cut the Ibis hotel designed cake to celebrate the official opening, together with Accor’s Vice President for New Zealand & Fiji, Garth Simmons.
Over 50 people attended the event including industry partners, local businesses and residents along with the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Hon Gerry Brownlee and Mayor of Christchurch Bob Parker.
Speaking at the official opening, the Prime Minister acknowledged Accor’s commitment to Christchurch and that the opening of the Ibis hotel will add much needed capacity for the city.
“For any city like the size of Christchurch to function we need hotel rooms, because off the base of those hotel rooms comes all the tourism activity which underpin a vibrant city like Christchurch. The city has been operating with around about half of the hotel rooms that we need, so the opening of a hotel like Ibis Christchurch is not only lifting room capacity but it’s also sending a big message that by having somewhere to stay, Christchurch is open for business,” said Mr Key.
Accor Vice President New Zealand & Fiji, Garth Simons, said the re-opening of the Ibis Christchurch has come exactly two years after the first major quake hit Christchurch.
“We are very proud of where we are today, not only to be reopening the Ibis Christchurch hotel two years on from the September quake, but of the physical and emotional strength that has been shown by our team, lead by General Manger of the hotel, Tim Dearsley and also the General Manager of the future Novotel hotel Carl Braddock,” said Mr Simmons.
“We are very grateful to the New Zealand Government and the City of Christchurch for all their continued support in helping us reo-pen this hotel. And we extend a special thank you to Mayor Bob Parker for including us in his recent Sydney road show which resulted in fantastic publicity for Christchurch and our Ibis Hotel.
“As a company we are committed to the success and revitalisation of Christchurch and will focus all our resources on the city moving forward, including the opening of our second hotel the Novotel Cathedral Square in about 12 months time.
“We thank the Prime Minister for his tremendous support and taking time to officially reopen our Ibis hotel and his seal of approval will help increase the spotlight on Christchurch,” concluded Mr Simmons.
The re-opening of Ibis Christchurch is set to help accelerate the city’s regeneration process and will allow significant progress to be made in reviving Christchurch’s central business district and tourism industry.
The hotel has undergone major remedial work, including the renovation of all 155 rooms and public areas, as well as structural strengthening to meet the city’s new building code. The Ibis received only minor damage and re-opens as a virtually new hotel featuring the latest Ibis branding and facilities.
The Ibis Christchurch Hotel is located at 107 Hereford Street, just off Cathedral Square and is adjacent to the new “pop up” shopping heart of Christchurch, the Re:START Mall in Cashel Street.