Mount Ruapehu Chateau Tongariro Hotel permanently closes following seismic assessment

The Chateau Tongariro Hotel at Mount Ruapehu is closing permanently on Sunday, February 5.

The hotel was preparing the renewal of its 30-year lease but after a seismic assessment, the place was found to be unsafe for people to stay in.

"Unfortunately, and unexpectedly, the most recent seismic assessment found that underground shifts over time have meant some of the hotel infrastructure no longer meets current safety standards," a spokesperson for the hotel said in a statement on Tuesday.

The decision to close the hotel was made to ensure the safety of everyone there.

"This decision has also been influenced by other factors including the significant cost of ensuring long-term site safety from seismic risk, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) falling into voluntary administration and related uncertainty over the future of the ski resort upon which the Chateau Tongariro Hotel depends, and off the back of recent poor snow season conditions and pandemic restrictions," the spokesperson said.

Senior vice president commercial of the Chateau Tongariro Hotel's parent company, Kevin Peeris, said it's a "very sad day for our hotel family".

"Surrounded by the Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro, and its history in Aotearoa New Zealand, it is disappointing for our hotel community that the Chateau Tongariro Hotel chapter will come to an end in February, despite initial plans to invest in its long-term future," Peeris said.

He said although the hotel had been given the possibility of an extension to "undertake rectification works" it would've been too expensive.

"The cost involved in these works, combined with other external factors such as the voluntary administration of Ruapehu Alpine Lifts and the poor snow season, and rebounding tourist numbers from the pandemic means continuing operations is not financially viable," Peeris said.

The spokesperson for the hotel said discussions are underway with the Department of Conservation about handing over the property.

The closure of the hotel directly impacts 36 staff who are being supported through the handover process.

The owner of the hotel and its sister hotel Wairakei Resort Taupo confirmed they will continue investing in New Zealand and the Wairakei Resort Taupo and its staff are not impacted by the Chateau Tongariro Hotel closure.​