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Development To Replace Franz Josef Holiday Park

Media release
30 June 2004

New Development To Replace Franz Josef Holiday Park

The disappointment brought about by closure of the Franz Josef Holiday Park, Waiho Motel and Black Sheep Backpackers today, June 30 2004, is greatly offset by optimism around the development of the Rainforest Retreat due for completion by November.

The owner of the Holiday Park, Michael Warren, was told by the Western District Council and Government in October 2002 that because of reports which indicated a risk of flooding on the Waiho and Callery rivers in Franz Josef, the thriving business would have to close.

Mr Warren accepted a compensation package offered by the Council and Government and was allowed to operate for one last season. In compliance with the terms and conditions for receiving the compensation package, Mr Warren bought another property within the Franz Josef area, Rainforest Retreat which is located in Cron Street. One of its great attractions, he says is that it backs on to a National Park

He is currently developing the retreat’s existing amenities to include a backpackers’ lodge, campervan sites and a bar and café. He is working with architect Bernie O’Fagan to complement the existing theme, log cottages set amongst the rain forest.

“While obviously we are sorry to have had to leave our original site, we’re delighted to be remaining in Franz Josef with this fantastic spot, set amongst seven acres of primeval rain forest. It’s certainly good news for the town and for the traveling public,” Mr Warren says.

Work on the retreat will continue through the winter.

“This summer we will have 85 rooms including a backpacker’s lodge where guests will have the choice of dormitories, double or twin rooms either en suited or shared bathroom facilities, under carpet heating and glacier views from rooms located on the 1st floor,43 campervan sites, 20 tent sites, internet centre, bar and café. We’ll be catering to all budgets,” Mr Warren says.


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