Casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group’s expansion efforts suffered a major blow after its New Zealand mega-project came to nothing.
New Zealand.- On Tuesday, New Zealand’s largest city Auckland caught under black smoke after a fire broke out at SkyCity’s in-development NZ International Convention Center in the center of town.
The fire reportedly started on the roof of the unfinished project around 1pm and quickly spread.
As the fire grew, SkyCity ordered a “controlled evacuation” of the entire precinct, including Sky Tower, SkyCity Auckland Casino, as well as all SkyCity hotels, restaurants and corporate offices.
Furthermore, very fire unit in Auckland rushed to battle the blaze, with additional units called in from neighboring Hamilton. Thick black smoke quickly spread across Auckland, prompting officials to advise individuals with breathing problems to stay indoors and also switch off their air conditioning.
The fire continued to burn through the night, fanned by stiff winds, with gusts of over 60 kilometers per hour.
Fire crews reported that they had no choice but to simply let the fire burn itself out, as the unfinished building didn’t allow firefighters to access the roof without fears that their weight would cause the building to collapse in on itself.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will meet with fire and emergency personnel, as well as with SkyCity reps, today.
What’s next for SkyCity
News of the blaze caused SkyCity’s share price to drop as much as 4% on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, although the shares recovered somewhat, closing out Tuesday’s trading down less than 3%.
In its most recent annual financial report, SkyCity indicated that its convention center – which was forecast to cost around €230,4 million – wouldn’t likely be finished until the end of 2020, with the hosting of its first events to follow early in 2021.
and for the time being the cause of the fire remains unknown.