Solway Park general manager Jill Harrison. PHOTO/ELI HILL

Good news for tourism

ELI HILL
eli.hill@age.co.nz

In a boost for Wairarapa tourism, Trust House has announced it will spend $2.2 million on Copthorne Hotel and Resort Solway Park in Masterton.

The spend includes reroofing of the entire complex, upgrading of conference facilities and ‘soft-refurbishments’ of some accommodation rooms.

On some wings of the hotel complex the roof may be fitted with solar panelling to increase energy efficiency. This will be an additional cost to the $2.2m spend.

Work is scheduled to get under way in February 2020 and is expected to take about four months.

When completed, it will bring to an end a programme of about $5 million of work on the hotel over the past five years.

The continued investment in Solway Park, Wairarapa’s largest hotel, is part of Trust House’s ongoing commitment to the region’s tourism sector which contributes about $195m to the Wairarapa economy yearly, chief executive Allan Pollard said.

The reroofing is a major undertaking, particularly above the indoor swimming pool, Solway Park general manager Jill Harrison said

“Staying competitive with the main centres and other conferencing providers is something that we are very mindful of, so continuing to reinvest in the hotel is really important.”

The ongoing investment into Solway Park was good news for regional tourism and hospitality, Destination Wairarapa general manager David Hancock said.

As the only large accommodation provider in the region, Solway Park was critical to the success of conferences and events held in Wairarapa.

“The quality of the products is competing with neighbouring regions and the infrastructure that they have, so for us to continue to retain and win events and conferences we need that quality to be at least as good as competing regions,” Hancock said.

Solway Park, which opened in 1972, has more than 100 rooms, large convention spaces, an indoor swimming pool, bars and a restaurant.

It employs around 70 staff – a mix of fulltime and part-time.