Saturday, 29 October 2011



It’s been 8 months since we could walk in central Chistchurch.  We did that today, we smiled and felt happy, we felt at home and felt proud of what our city is.  It’s been a while, it’s been a while.

(Haven't seen this side for 8 months)
After getting back to the motel we checked in some guests from Singapore and we were so excited being able to tell them that for the 1st time in 8 months we had shops in the city. Understandably they were no doubt wondering why but we’re sure they will see what we mean once they have been for a walk.


About 10,000 people turned up and the closing time of 6pm was extended due to the number of people still in the shops.

 (The shelves are a giveaway, yes, it's Johnson's!)
Its been done in a tasteful way and if it were not for the tram tracks and obvious surrounding buildings, one could be forgiven for not knowing it was Cashel St.

The 27 shops made out of brightly coloured shipping containers stacked on top of each other is sure to become a destination in itself – you must come and see it!

Anchored by Ballantynes Department Store and backed up by Kathmandu in normal buildings the container shops range from a variety of fashion shops, a bank where foreign currency can be exchanged, a souvenir shop, a book shop and 2 licensed cafes as well as others!

 (The new and the old, the short and the tall)
Was great to see Johnson’s Grocery back.  That’s the little English style shop that was  just up the road from us.  The great news is that he does intend to rebuild on the old site! 

 (Locals look longingly at still forbidden fruit)
Obviously lacking is an internet café, convenience store and a place to buy a simcard! Hopefully they’ll get there soon!

 (Fluro Bear enjoys his CBD shopping experience)
The other positive was that today the surrounding demo sites were silent, the sun was shining and there was no wind to stir up that horrid dust. Would be nice if it stayed that way.

 (Fluro bear is on the motel counter ready to guide guests to Re:START 2011)
It was great to see so many happy people milling around the tills making that till sound, but also spotted were one drunk person being escorted away by police, a protest march (walk) and buskers making a buck – just like what a CBD should be like.  

Today we got our city centre back.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Want to be first in the new Spa Bath?

Just who will it be? If you book to stay Friday it could just be you…..and your special other ½ too….it’s a double!

Here’s the story……

Sometime ago we walked into the garage to find ourselves standing in a puddle of precipitation.  The wall was wet from ceiling to floor! Ooops! Something obviously wrong here!

The cause not instantly obvious but it was definitely coming from the CentrePoint Suite above.  Oh….Nooo!!! Not a leaky spa bath?? We were able to confirm a few days later that indeed a hairline crack in the double spa bath was the probable culprit.  Bad Double Spa Bath!

 (Deluxe Man Cave with Double Spa Bath! How much would you pay??)

Or was it? We were actually able to ascertain that we have to blame the honourable guest who placed their gracious posterior (or other part of their anatomy) on the spout with a degree of force lacking any daintiness at all. (please……be more careful next time)

(In the Bathroom......It's starting to happen......)

But, whatever happened happened….. is all we can say and so it is that the spa bath be replaced. Waking up to water in the garage is not a good start to the day!

(New walk-in shower at the CentrePoint!?) 

Today was Spa Bath Day, or should we say, rip out the spa bath and get the new one in day!  We’re looking forward to day 2 tomorrow and ….if all goes to plan…’ll soon be all ready to go!

 (Yippee! New bath.......supported by a couple of hunks of 4x2......naturally.)

This could be some good trivia for your next pub quiz night but…. did you know that it is impossible to get a bath the exact same size as the one that was installed only a bit more than 5 years ago?  Hard to imagine but yes, bath makers appear to enjoy changing bath sizes – we think they may need to see a shrink!

You could be the first to stay in the CentrePoint Suite and bathe in the virgin luxury of our new spa bath – and that would be priceless!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

A Tale of Two Cities?

We have written before about how different parts of Christchurch have been affected in different ways by the earthquakes, and now it appears the Motel industry is no exception.

We always had the idea that here on Colombo St. just 2 blocks from the Red Zone and indeed cordoned and curfewed for 18 days after 22 Feb., things were a little different to, for example, the Riccarton area.  Now, an interesting news piece aired on TVNZ which indicates that Motels in Christchurch have most certainly experienced business at levels equal to the busiest it’s ever been, has confirmed our suspicions

We are worried about the way this news has been handled because our motel and others in our area have not been experiencing such occupancy levels and we believe it has sent the message to the rest of NZ that it’s no good coming to Christchurch because there’s no accommodation! 

Ourselves and other inner city MANZ motels have not experienced “business at levels equal to the busiest it’s ever been” and we would be absolutely devastated if kiwis and overseas travellers based their travel plans on messages like what is carried in the news piece.  It also worries us that the majority of this message was presented by top executives of the Motel Association of New Zealand.  Surely they could have been more aware of the reality of their individual members.

We must say that we do not know if the motel owners in this news piece had their views expressed in the way they wanted by TVNZ but what we are primarily worried about here is what the travelling public are lead to think by the overall presentation.  It is the impression that counts.  At least there could have been recognition that not all areas of Christchurch had enjoyed the good times!

We’d like to counter what was said and put our case forward.  We feel that this news piece has missed the point in 2 ways.  While it may be so in the Riccarton area, the inner city area has certainly not been “the busiest it’s ever been.”  We also feel that a great chance to promote weekend visits to Christchurch has been lost after this piece did not differentiate between the busy Monday – Thursday period and relatively not so busy weekend period.

We would love to have had 92% occupancy since Feb as the motelier at the start of the news piece claimed but for us the reality was that while we traded at slightly above past years’ levels the result has been considerably lower than 92%.

We are paid up members of both the Christchurch Motel Association and Motel Association of New Zealand and so we feel we have the right to say it's not 100% correct when our Association execs say that “members are experiencing unprecedented occupancy rates” and that it is most certainly, absolutely most certainly the busiest it’s ever been.

While it is great to see our industry being reflected in a good light by the mainstream media and reflecting the great job motels are doing in supporting the recovery, the message should have been that while there are plenty of “No Vacancy” signs to be seen, that there is still accommodation available in Christchurch if travellers plan ahead and that there are especially plenty of rooms available over the weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun) for people to visit Christchurch.

Surely this is the message that we should be presenting.