Queenstown approves SkyCity convention centre proposal

Queenstown Lakes District Council unanimously approved on Tuesday plans for a $50 million convention centre near the city centre.  The project includes a casino, hotel, restaurants, and a 1,000-seat convention centre,

with SkyCity as the preferred operator.  Approval for the master plan, a project development plan and business plan still needs to be secured, as does funding of up to $15 million from the central government.  The prime minister, John Key, has indicated that the government might likely get involved as a way to boost tourism.  Meanwhile, a private developer, Remarkable Parks, announced that it had the funding to build a similar project out near the airport at Frankton.  The local council still needs to convince ratepayers of the value of the project, with 43 percent either opposed or strongly oppposed to the relocation of a casino in the complex.