Saturday, July 13, 2024

Ruapehu Mayor calls on community to help save iconic hotel

Ruapehu District Council Mayor, Weston Kirton, is calling on the public to support a parliamentary petition for urgent Government action to save the Chateau Tongariro Hotel.

“The future of the Chateau Tongariro Hotel is uncertain, with crucial decisions pending from government officials,” Mayor Kirton said.

“By urging the government to act quickly, we can preserve a treasured piece of our heritage and safeguard its economic and tourism benefits.”

“I’m calling on people to rally together, sign the Save the Chateau Petition,‘ and show the depth of support and potential for this iconic and cherished heritage building to the government and prospective investors.”

The Mayor said the hotel more than a historic landmark in the World Heritage Tongariro National Park.

“It embodies cultural significance and economic vitality crucial to the Ruapehu District and New Zealand. Before its closure, it was a major economic driver, employing over 70 staff, attracting high-spending tourists, and contributing around $10 million annually to the local economy,” he said.

“The closure in February last year has severely impacted our tourism economy and post-COVID-19 recovery. With international visitor spend in Ruapehu still at only 57% of pre-pandemic levels, compared to the national average of 81%, revitalising the Chateau is essential for unlocking regional tourism potential and restoring economic vibrancy.”

Mayor Kirton highlighted that the significance of the Chateau extends beyond economic considerations.

“The Chateau Tongariro Hotel holds deep historical significance for the community, having served as a focal point for social and community events. Its restoration would not only boost economic prosperity but also preserve an essential part of New Zealand’s cultural heritage,” he said.

“There is a strong desire, not only from the local community but also from people across New Zealand and around the world, to see this iconic building saved and restored to its former glory.

“As negotiations continue, it’s imperative the government acts swiftly to preserve this national treasure. I urge everyone to sign the petition calling on the government to act swiftly.

“Saving the Chateau Tongariro Hotel is not just about preserving its storied past; it’s about ensuring a vibrant future where it continues to shine as a beacon of cultural heritage, tourism excellence, and community pride,” the Mayor said.

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