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Iconic hospitality business goes on the market

Tags: Commercial Northland

Picturesque Bridgehouse Lodge in Warkworth traces its roots back to the 1850s operating as a guesthouse.

Over the intervening decades the riverside building has seen extensive renovations and expansion to include more accommodation, and in more recent times, major improvements to create a spacious front restaurant and bar and rear garden bar alongside the Mahurangi river.

Now, for the first time in many years, the entire property – comprising of 3290 square metres of land, all the associated buildings and hospitality business - have been placed on the market for sale through a tender process being run by Bayleys and closing on May 13.

Bridgehouse Lodge derives its income from five revenue streams – food, beverage, accommodation, gaming machine operations and a function facility. The well appointed, stylish restaurant and bar areas are licensed to cater for 150 patrons in various indoor/outdoor settings beside the Mahurangi River, with the function room providing wedding, party and conference facilities for 80 seated diners.

The venue’s accommodation amenities feature 14 bedrooms in a variety of queen, queen/single, and double bed configurations. All rooms have their own en-suites and current room rates range from $85 to $135 per night.

With the additional adjoining land, the accommodation and off street car parking offerings can be doubled in size. This would provide huge long term benefit for new owners. Provision of accommodation co-located with an entertainment venue would provide the ability to benefit further from the lucrative small weddings and conference market. There are few large scale commercial accommodation providers and an overall lack of beds in the area.

The Warkworth Matakana region has seen an explosion in popularity over recent years. Now, as part of the Auckland Unitary Plan, Warkworth has been nominated as the Northern Satellite and is predicted to double in size within the next ten years.

Bridgehouse Lodge currently enjoys a high percentage of its food and beverage income from a loyal, local clientele. The existing owners’ sponsorship of local sports and community groups has resulted in a very supportive clientele who


frequent the amenities on a regular basis.

It is one of only a few licensed premises in Warkworth and residents consider it to be their ‘local’. Couple this with the advantage that it sits at a natural destination for day trippers and weekenders visiting local beaches and wineries in the “northern playground of Auckland”.

With an already successful business in place, the opportunity exists for a new owner/operator to expand on the sound foundations established by the existing owners.]

Alternatively, the property could be bought as an investment vehicle and the hospitality operations once again leased to experienced food, beverage and accommodation professionals.

With metropolitan Auckland just 45 minutes drive away, Bridgehouse Lodge has the potential to be a destination venue. With the next phase of the State Highway One motorway set to shorten travelling times from the city even further, Warkworth and Matakana will become increasingly accessible – particularly on weekends and holiday periods.

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