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Backpacker lodge on tourist town’s central fringe placed on the market for sale

Tags: Commercial

A strong-performing backpackers accommodation hostel in the Coromandel tourist township of Whitianga has been placed on the market for sale.


Turtle Cove Backpackers sits on edge of Whitianga township’s central business district, and is a purpose-built accommodation venue with multiple separate buildings licensed to sleep up 62 people.

The 430 square metres of lodge buildings sitting on 1624 square metres of freehold land split over adjoining land titles zoned commercial 8A. Turtle Cove’s 16-room inventory is configured to support a range of occupancies – ranging from single-sex and mixed gender bunk style dormitories and single rooms, through to stand-alone share twin and double rooms.

Turtle Cove sits across two adjoining sites – 12 and 14 Bryce Street – with unfenced access between the rear of the two properties so that guests can move freely between their accommodation units and the backpackers’ communal living and recreational spaces.

The 12 Bryce Street address contains an owner/manager’s residence as well as two en-suite family bedrooms sustaining a total of 12 beds. Portable cabin bedrooms are situated at the rear of the section to increase the site’s accommodation inventory. Turtle Cove backpackers owns two of the cabins, while the other four are leased.

Guest services within the Turtle Cove Backpackers business include:

• A fully equipped kitchen with gas hobs, ovens and extensive food preparation benching

• Separate male and female bathroom facilities

• A laundry room

• TV lounge and

• A large covered outdoor area on a concreted floor plate.

The Turtle Cove Backpackers land, buildings and business at 12 – 14 Bryce Street are being jointly marketed for sale by Bayleys Whitianga and Bayleys Hamilton at auction at 11am on May 17. Salespeople Belinda Sammons and Josh Smith said the breadth of room sizes at the Whitianga property meant the business could service single travelers, couples, and even families.

“Turtle Cove is a stereo-typical New Zealand backpacker accommodation venue – catering to the budget end of the free independent traveler market in a style which has been immensely popular since the 1970s, and shows no sign of changing,” Mr Smith said.

“From a demographic perspective, Turtle Cove, like many backpacker establishments of its ilk, is now attracting a generation of backpackers who first enjoyed the free-spirited style of accommodation some 30 or 40 years ago.

“Now, still wanting to hold onto that free-spirited environment during their travels, those former guests are coming back as middle-aged adults with their children, who will probably in turn go on to become the next generation of backpacker guests.”

Chattels within the freehold going concern business sale include the stoves and fridges/freezers servicing the communal kitchen, the furnishings within the communal lounge, the tables and chairs in the covered outdoor dining/socialising deck area, commercial-grade washing machines and driers, all the back-office operations and accounting systems, all bedding linen and Manchester, and a cupboard full of spades for digging holes at the famous thermally-irrigated Hot Water Beach nearby.

Ms Sammons said Tte Turtle Cove Backpackers business ran as a commercial ‘lifestyle’ enterprise - staffed by an owner/operator full-time manager and housekeeper, supported by part-time housekeepers and cleaners brought in as occupancy levels demand.

“As with most accommodation businesses, Turtle Cove Backpackers tracks its busiest trading period over the December to March summer phase where the occupancy level regularly sits at around 82 percent,” she said.

Latest commercial accommodation data from Stats NZ for the Coromandel region for the year ending February 2018 show that visitor guest nights at backpackers were up 3.7 percent year-on-year to 80,690 bookings, with the average length of stay being 1.83 nights per venue. Capacity in the sector remained virtually the same. Nightly rack rates at Turtle Cove Backpackers range from $25 for shared dormitory through to $195 for a private six-person family room with ensuite.

“Turtle Cove Backpackers is in a fortunate location – being the closest accommodation venue of its type to the commercial heart of Whitianga with the pillar retail amenities such as supermarkets, bars, convenience food outlets, and liquor retailers which backpackers frequently use during their stays,” Ms Sammons said.

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