Resort in Karapiro offers tourism opportunities for new owner

28 March, 2018

A Waikato resort is looking for a new owner to kick start its potential as a major rural tourism venture.

Lakeside Spa and Resort in Karapiro was a fully self-contained, large-scale accommodation provider and function venue, spread over 35.44 hectares of rural farm land next to Lake Karapiro, south of Cambridge. The complex included 45, one-bedroom chalets of about 59 square metres each. It featured a conference centre, a health and fitness centre, heated swimming pool, spa suites, hydrotherapy and beauty treatment rooms, saunas and steam room. 

A one-bedroom manager's apartment could be converted into a hospitality space overlooking the pool. There was a five-bedroom staff residence next to the main lodge.

The land and buildings of the resort, at 987-1002 Tirau Road, were jointly marketed for sale by private treaty through Bayleys Auckland and Bayleys Hamilton. It had a deadline for offers closing at 4pm on April 12.

Bayleys Auckland tourism and hospitality sales specialist Carolyn Hanson said the current owner purchased the property about four years ago and extensively landscaped the site. The property's assets were maintained but in an unused state over the intervening years. A live-in property manager kept it in pristine condition ready for occupation, Hanson said.

"With accommodation now in a shortage in the Waikato and international visitor numbers continuing to grow year-on-year, the sites' owners have decided now is the time to finally take Lakeside Spa and Resort to market for sale."

Bayleys' hotel and tourism sales director, Nick Thompson, said Lakeside Spa and Resort was a turnkey operation ready-made for a new owner or operator to step in and open it to the public for the first time.

"It really is a blank canvas opportunity which can be completed to the tastes and budget of any style," he said.

"Under the present configuration, the business would easily qualify for a five-star accommodation-standard rating and could sustain a staffing complement of up to 20 fulltime staff."

Thompson said the property also included 20.35ha of neighbouring, separately-titled grazing grassland, in six fenced paddocks and leased as a finishing block irrigated by its own water bore. It would be suitable for activities such as clay-bird shooting, golf, archery, petanque or even drone racing. A hill next to the property could be landscaped for mountain biking or for a walking track.

"Any development of such tracks could also be used for equestrian-based recreational activities – with horse trekking rides through the bush or paddock land which is currently leased out to local riders. Such a commercial venture would be a tourist activity for both the general public, as well as available to guests staying at the lodge."

Thompson said it was strategically positioned to build a strong corporate clientele business model, located just a few hours from Auckland, Tauranga and closer to Hamilton.

"A split target marketing approach could work in well in attracting a business sector clientele Monday to Thursday, and a leisure market clientele Friday to Sunday off the back of the resort's proximity to the hugely popular Lake Karapiro which is now New Zealand's premier fresh-water sporting venue.

"The number of competitive sporting events and tournaments taking place on Lake Karapiro encompass multiple fresh-water sporting codes. There's waka ama, canoeing, kayaking, wake-boarding, and of course rowing – with virtually all of these hosting events and competitions at both school and club levels, on regional, North Island, and national scales."

In addition to catering for the various events, the resort could also be totally self-sufficient as a wedding venue.

"... with ample existing space to add a marquee amenity, and to accommodate a large number of guests on-site, with all food and beverage being prepared and served from the existing kitchen and bar facilities."

 - Stuff

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