Star sets things in Mo­tion


A fire alarm and evac­u­a­tion did lit­tle to dampen the spir­its at the of­fi­cial open­ing of Ro­torua’s Mo­tion En­ter­tain­ment on Satur­day.

The all weather en­ter­tain­ment com­plex is the largest of its type in New Zealand and was opened by Hunt for the Wilder­peo­ple star Ju­lian Den­ni­son and Ro­torua Deputy Mayor Dave Don­ald­son.

An es­ti­mated 10,000 peo­ple at­tended the open­ing week­end with queues form­ing at 6.30am on the Satur­day.

Speak­ing at the pre-launch event on Fri­day de­vel­oper and Holmes Group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ryan Holmes said the com­plex had cre­ated 50 new jobs; ’’a mas­sive thing for Ro­torua’’.

‘‘Our vi­sion was to cre­ate some­thing for fam­i­lies, an all weather fa­cil­ity that could sup­port other tourist ven­tures in this town. We searched high and low for the best op­er­a­tors we could find, and the con­cept is to bring it all to­gether un­der one roof.’’

Don­ald­son, who also leads Ro­torua Lakes Coun­cil’s (RLC) eco­nomic growth port­fo­lio, said the de­vel­op­ment was a vote of con­fi­dence in the Ro­torua econ­omy.

‘‘Full credit to Ryan and the Holmes Group for their en­trepreneur­ship and per­sis­tence,’’ he said.

‘‘It doesn’t chal­lenge the sta­tus quo on of­fer in Ro­torua, it’s some­thing you can do any time of year. This adds an­other prod­uct, fills a niche.’’

Holmes also said he was con­fi­dent Mo­tion En­ter­tain­ment would at­tract 200,000 do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors a year.

‘‘The pro­jected num­bers were care­fully eval­u­ated and cal­cu­lated based on strong mar­ket re­search,’’ he said.

‘‘Some of our in­di­vid­ual op­er­a­tors have fran­chises in other lo­ca­tions that eas­ily at­tract over 1000 peo­ple a week, so when you com­bine eight pop­u­lar at­trac­tions and a bistro un­der one roof then the num­bers are very com­pelling. Events in our con­fer­ence rooms are also ex­pected to boost num­bers through the door’’.

The at­trac­tions on of­fer at Mo­tion En­ter­tain­ment in­clude XD Dark Ride, Di­alled In­door Tramp Park, Strike Zone Ten­pin Bowl­ing, Mega­zone Laser Tag, Time­zone, Es­cape Masters, Lum­ber­jax Mini Golf, Chip­munks Play­land and Cafe and the li­censed Re­vived Bistro.

Mo­tion En­ter­tain­ment is the first stage of the $13 mil­lion Lyn­more Junc­tion de­vel­op­ment. cover the frame and lo­cally made wooden dec­o­ra­tions.

‘‘Last year we also found that some of the dec­o­ra­tions we had were ei­ther past their use-by date or dam­aged,’’ said RLC pro­ject man­ager Mandy Godo.

‘‘Com­mer­cial sized dec­o­ra­tions come from over­seas and needed to be or­dered well in ad­vance.

‘‘The best pos­si­ble job was done in an ex­tremely tight time­frame.

‘‘This year we have a won­der­ful mix of clas­sic dec­o­ra­tions as well as some lo­cally made wooden ones, re­flect­ing Ro­torua’s cul­ture which will hang on harakeke rope’’.

The new metal-framed tree was built by a lo­cal com­pany.

The tra­di­tion of a Ro­torua Christ­mas Tree goes back to the early 1980s when a se­quoia out­side the city iSite was dec­o­rated.

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