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Hanmer Springs News

Developers of a luxury lodge at Hanmer Springs have gone into receivership

The company developing a $16 million luxury lodge overlooking the Hanmer Springs basin has gone into receivership.

Braemar Lodge 2004 Ltd went into receivership on July 19 with Michael Stiassny and Brendon Gibson, of Auckland firm Ferrier Hodgson appointed receivers and managers of the company.

The company paid $1.4 million for the lodge in December 2004 and it is believed business partners Neil Dougan and Ross Thomson have spent about $14m turning it into a lavish tourist destination.

However, plans to offer guests an all-frills sojourn in a "healing" environment, including a spa, never eventuated as the lodge never reopened its doors, although it is believed there were plans to open in about two months.

It is not known how many creditors there are or how much is owed as the receivers did not return calls to The Press yesterday. The Press was also unable to contact the company directors and sole shareholders of Braemar Lodge 2004 Ltd, Dougan and Thomson.

Thomson has had a long association with the Hanmer Springs township. He was the general manager of the Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve for five years from 1991, before tackling several positions promoting tourism and the district for the Hurunui District council. He is also a former chairman of Canterbury Tourism, and a former chief executive of the Canterbury Club.

Calls to RealWorld, a property development company specialising in tourist investment property, and of which Neil Dougan is a director and shareholder, went straight to an answer phone. A second company of which Dougan was the sole director and shareholder, Warwick Mews Developments, has been placed in liquidation with Malcolm Hollis and John Fisk of Pricewaterhouse Coopers being appointed liquidators on July 23.

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