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Skycity Auckland Convention Centre Hits The Road

11 November 2003

Media Release For Immediate Publication


Skycity Auckland Convention Centre Hits The Road
At Home After International Success


Following a successful launch to the Australian market, SKYCITY Auckland will launch Auckland’s largest and newest convention centre to the domestic market this week in a promotional roadshow.

The new SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre, scheduled for opening in April 2004, will be profiled at industry functions in Wellington on the 12th November (tomorrow) and in Auckland on the 19th November.

The roadshow launches involve presentations to professional conference organisers, key associations and corporate event organisers to promote the facilities offered by the new state-of-the art centre, with a view to securing advance bookings.

When it opens next year, SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre will provide the largest multi-functional convention facility in central Auckland City with capacity for up to 1000 (banquet function) or 2000 (cocktail function) delegates.

SKYCITY’s General Manager Sales Kerry Rice, said that the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre generated “significant” interest at its Australian market launch in May and was well received at a trade show to US representatives in Hawaii last month.

“The centre will offer international standard facilities for large-scale indoor functions which have been previously lacking in Auckland City,” says Mr Rice.

“Up until now, large events have been logistically difficult to organise as Auckland hasn’t had a dedicated banqueting venue to host functions of more than 600 people.”

Mr Rice says that the convention market is responding well to the new facilities with forward bookings already in place through to 2006.

“Both 2004 and 2005 are filling up fast with confirmed large events.

“In addition to confirmed bookings, we are currently in discussion with a large number of clients who have expressed interest in using the new facilities - most noticeably out of Australia, following our recent Australian roadshow.

“We anticipate a similar positive response from our New Zealand roadshow where our goal will be to secure further multiday conferences, award ceremonies and events for the new facility,” said Mr Rice.

Tourism Auckland CEO Graeme Osborne says he believes increased domestic travel to Auckland will result from large multi-day conferences being held at the new conference centre.

Auckland had a great need for conference facilities with larger capacity and the SKYCITY Auckland conference centre will also enhance Auckland’s competitiveness in the international arena. Delegates will be able to make the most of their central city location and take in some of Auckland’s attractions during their stay,” says Mr Osborne.

The first New Zealand event booked in the new SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre is Rally NZ in April 2004, and the first multi-day conference is Financial Planners Institute Association, with expected delegate numbers totaling around 600 people.

Situated opposite SKYCITY Auckland, on Federal Street, the $135 million development represents the largest capital commercial project currently underway in the city. It will comprise five floors for the new convention centre (scheduled to open in April 2004) and another 15 levels will be added above, to become the new SKYCITY Grand Hotel (scheduled to open in 2005).

The $75 million five-star SKYCITY Grand Hotel will provide 316 rooms of luxurious accommodation in the heart of the city, featuring a full range of guest services, fine dining, private club lounge and a luxury health and beauty spa.

SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre and SKYCITY Grand Hotel will be linked to SKYCITY’s main site by two air bridges.

“This link means the existing SKYCITY Hotel can work in unison with the new SKYCITY Grand Hotel to provide nearly 700 rooms of accommodation on the one site – both linked to the city’s largest and newest conference and convention facilities,” says Mr Rice.

The SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre and SKYCITY Grand Hotel developments are part of a major SKYCITY Auckland expansion project which also includes extensions to the main gaming floor, the development of a new gaming floor and bar (currently under construction and due to open in December 2003) and improvements to Sky Tower facilities including the addition of a new retail store which opened at the base of Sky Tower in July 2003.

SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre will open progressively from early 2004 while construction of SKYCITY Grand Hotel continues, minimising disruption to guests and maximising opportunities for use of completed areas.

Venues for SKYCITY’s industry presentations for SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre from 5:30pm:

Wellington – Majestic Centre - 12th November (tomorrow)
Auckland – St Mathews in the City - 19th November

Additional facts:

Convention centre complex includes:
- Two levels totalling more than 5000m2 dedicated to conferencing, exhibition and banqueting space.
- Large column free spaces and high rooms.
- Leading NZ artwork throughout the complex.
- A 1300m2 main room capable of seating up to 1500 delegates theatre style or 1200 for a banquet.
- A second main room with 1040m2 of conference/exhibition space.
- Two 670m2 foyers.
- Nine breakout rooms.
- Two boardrooms, two business offices, and business centre facilities.
- All construction costs were spent locally including consultants.
- Nearly all the furniture has been manufactured locally.

SKYCITY Grand Hotel includes:
- 15 levels of contemporary elegance and facilities (20 levels above Albert St) including:
- Two restaurants- a premium restaurant on Level 3 and Breakfast restaurant on Level 7.
- Club lounge.
- Stylish bar.
- Lap pool, gym, sauna, clubroom etc located on Level 7.
- Foyer located on level 3 off Federal St.
- 24-hour service by dedicated staff.
- Qualmark 5-star rating.
- 316 rooms including some suites located over 13 floors.
- CBD doorstep location.
- Full range of guest services including luxury spa.
- Latest IT connectivity and technology.
- Leading New Zealand artwork throughout the complex.


ends

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