Category Archives: Hospitality

Earthquake damaged pub square, Christchurch, New Zealand.

This hospitality square full of pubs, clubs and a real groovy music store in Christchurch was once a hub of entertainment. Since the 2011 earthquakes devastated the city this square has remained untouched and derelict while insurance claims are disputed.

Exploring the inside of the square I stumbled upon forgotten hipster clubs, lots of pigeon poop and endless amounts of decay and vandalism.

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Casino Rouge

Exploring the ruin of the French colonial era Bokor Casino Hotel in Cambodia recently. The Casino was fought over by the invading/liberating Vietnamese army and the murderous Khmer Rouge from 1979 onwards. Due to it’s strategic place and size on Bokor plateau it was invaluable to either side to gain an advantage over the other. In recent years it has been cleaned up and somewhat structurally improved- unfortunately removing most of its neglected charm, tragedy and history in the process.

‘Devil’s Angles’ Gang House

Urbex Central found this abandoned bar situated in Wellington a couple of years ago, on a recent revisit we noticed the location had been trashed and tagged by the ‘devils angils’. Which were some kind of nazi loving, intimidation gang that can’t spell very well, they were trying to spread hatred with a message they most probably don’t understand themselves.

The explore of this bar was obviously quite intimidating and we kept it brief, the entry to the bar was now rigged up with a rope and some sort of warning system to warn whoever trashed and took over this place that someone was coming.

This has to be one of our most memorable and equally shocking explores of 2015 so far.

 

Abandoned Strippers

Along our journey exploring what Christchurch had to offer with our new found friend, Wildboyz we found something we had never explored before, an abandoned strip club! In the past we have found the odd brothel but never a strip club and with it a load of old artifacts such as stripper dollars, stilettos, g strings and even a hidden secret room that was for the most “special” of customers at the fine establishment, I hope you enjoy our latest post.

We explored this former Italian restaurant two years ago, just prior to demolition. Remiro Bresolin, a flamboyant pioneer of Italian cuisine in New Zealand and legend of Wellington’s social scene, took drab Wellington and gave it a splash of Italian colour. For nearly 30 years his Il Casino restaurant was a capital icon and a mecca for food lovers everywhere. The restaurant closed just prior to his death in 2007 and in it’s place now stands another inner city apartment block.

Vacancy

This former conference and accommodation complex- closed due to being “earthquake prone”- is still very, very vacant…

Anyone visiting Rarotonga for more than a few days, will probably have heard of (or seen) the doomed and abandoned Sheraton resort on the south coast. For a tiny country (pop. 14,600) which earns half of its income from tourism, completing the project is seen as vital.

The history of the project dates back to 1987 when the Cook Islands Government signed a deal with an Italian bank, after being unable to attract the required foreign investment. The Government acted as guarantors for the NZ$52 million loan and agreed to an Italian company’s bid to build Rarotonga’s first luxury 5-star 200-suite hotel and golf course. Sheraton signed up to manage the property and work began on its construction in 1990.

However within a few years, the lion’s share of $52 million disappeared down a black hole carved out by the mafia and other crooks- the project was 80% complete when the insurance firm cut off funding to the builders. Since then, Rarotongans have seen a steady flow of foreign receivers, consultants, con men, lawyers, bankers and developers trying to figure out what to do with the site. The country’s finances were crippled as the government’s liability ballooned to $122 million, and taxpayers are still saddled with the interest bill. The issue of who owns the hotel has been stuck in the courts for years.

Many locals think the project was doomed from the beginning, after a curse was thrown on the site in 1911- after More Uriatua was shot dead by William John Wigmore, following a bitter argument over ownership of the land. At the project’s official launch, Metua More’s grandson, More Rua turned up dressed as a high priest in warlike regalia, intoning the resurrection of his grandmother’s curse. He ended by slamming his spear into a rock onto which a plaque had just been unveiled by the Prime Minister, marking the beginning of the Sheraton project. When the rock split to ground level, the locals saw it as a sign that the resort was still cursed and doomed. It still lies abandoned and derelict today, with no new grand plans of completing The Lost Resort.