Hotel planned at Mystery Creek

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Big plans are afoot at the Mystery Creek Events Centre on Tamahere’s doorstep.

A 150-plus room hotel was part of the National Fieldays Society’s thinking when it recently bought 25 hectares of Airport Rd-fronting land adjoining its Mystery Creek property for $1.65 million.

It was hoped the hotel could be built within three to five years but the plan would need Waipa District Council support for a zoning change, Chief executive Jon Calder told the Waikato Times.

The not-for-profit Fieldays Society, which has annual revenue of around $10 million, had commissioned a feasibility study of the land before the purchase, he said. A hotel was factored into that study. The purchase takes the society’s landbank to more than 100ha.

The events centre has aspirations to be an Australasian super-events venue and is embarking on a 15-20 year $10 million “master plan” revamp.

“We recognise that one of our limiting factors is that we have no accommodation. A goal . . . is to provide accommodation.

“We have in the area a stunning golf course, the winery [Mystery Creek Wines], a pistol club, a gokart club, we are close to The Narrows and there is The Woodbox restaurant and a function centre. The new purchase also fronts Hamilton Airport.

“It would also complement nearby projects such as the multimillion-dollar Bike NZ Avantidrome . . . We’re working through it at the moment. We don’t have a definite view yet but it would be in the over-150 [rooms] market.”

A hotel development would support Hamilton City Council’s arts and culture development path as well as the event centre’s aim of relinking National Fieldays with Hamilton City, Mr Calder said.

In a feature-length story on the moves at Mystery Creek, Calder also told the paper that re-establishing passenger boat services between Hamilton and the Fieldays site was also being considered. They could be charter services carrying about 50 passengers at a time.

Showcasing the Waikato River’s “stunning” scenery was just one reason for starting boat transport services. Another was to get cars off the road as the events centre lifted its environmental sustainability performance.

Other key projects were to upgrade the Mystery Creek site’s infrastructure, improve its aesthetics and expand exhibitor space.

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