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Edgewater Milestone

Written by Penny Simpson

The contemporary Edgewater Resort was officially opened in July 1986 by the Rt. Hon. Mike Moore the then Minister of Tourism and for 35 years it has remained a Wānaka hospitality landmark. 

The 103-room hotel, situated on ten acres of prime lakefront land, Edgewater Lake Wānaka, has retained its independent status, private ownership and stable management throughout the many peaks and troughs in the tourism industry over the years. 

“There was considerable foresight in the 1980s from developers Richmond Paynter and Roger Milsom who spearheaded the project for this large hotel development in the small resort town of Wānaka,” says general manager  Catherine Bone.  

The site, once part of Wānaka Station, was purchased by Sir Percy Sargood in 1912 and farmed until 1980. The hotel construction by Paynter Corporation and Hamilton Construction began in 1985 and took just over a year to complete.  Today the majority of the 54 owners of the 65 individual units are all New Zealand based investors who also own shares in the hotel’s operating company.  

“One of the characteristics of Edgewater has been the long tenure of a number of its general managers and team members,” says  Catherine. “This includes Pam and Brett Simpson who co-managed the hotel from 1991 until 1998. When Brett pursued other business interests in Wānaka Pam continued as general manager until 2001. Leigh Stock managed the hotel from 2003 to 2014, Mike Barton then  succeeded him having previously held the position of financial controller at Edgewater during his management.”

“I took over at Edgewater in May 2019.  We are also very proud of the more than 25 years’ service from Dave Keimig and Telf Stevenson and Gaynor Mowat who retired just late last year after more than 25 years. We are lucky to attract some really talented professionals to the team at Edgewater and all enjoy working together.”

The hotel has been regularly refurbished over the years, and a major upgrade is currently in the planning.  Edgewater holds a four-and-half-star hotel rating by Qualmark New Zealand and a silver sustainability rating and continually receives excellent guest reviews. 

“Our 35th year, and beyond, is looking very bright and we are grateful to our guests, agents, suppliers and importantly our management and team for their involvement and commitment to Edgewater. A special commemorative weekend involving owners, staff and invited guests will mark the milestone occasion later this year with special promotions throughout the year.”

About the author

Penny Simpson