US magnate plans luxury NZ lodge

Monday 23 February 2004

QUEENSTOWN - A former hotelier and casino-owner in the US is planning an exclusive luxury lodge at Gibbston Valley, complete with a salmon-stocked pond for anglers.

By The Landlord

Phil Griffith, who has a substantial stake in Queenstown's Wharf Casino and the award-winning Gibbston Valley Winery, will fly high-profile US architects from New Orleans next month to look at the site.

The lodge will be established on former Glenroy Station land 27km east of Queenstown.

Griffith, who has sold his five casinos in Las Vegas, Reno (Nevada), Colorado and Mississippi and his 35-storey Las Vegas hotel, paid well over $1 million for the site.

"It'll be very upscale accommodation with its own chef, a very expensive wine cellar of New Zealand wines - it'll be in the $1000-a-night range plus to stay there," said Mike Stone, a business partner of Griffith.

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