A luxury function and accommodation venue which hosted contestants in the hit reality TV series The Bachelor has been placed on the market for sale.
Bella Vista estate at Ohauiti some 20 minutes drive from Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty is a four-bedroom lodge, with additional staff quarters, and function center with commercial kitchen, bar, and catering amenities. The venue’s hospitality operations can cater for functions of up to 250 guests.
The bachelorettes, along with the eligible bachelor himself, spent time at Bella Vista recently - partaking of tourism-related activities in the Bay of Plenty and enjoying the ambience in Bella Vista’s expansive and well manicured grounds.
Bella Vista lodge land buildings and business are now being marketed for sale by negotiation by Bayleys Tauranga.
Salesperson Jeremy Pryor said the property consisted of the main 579m² lodge, separate 520m² function centre, and 90m² cottage set on 5.695 hectares of rural land featuring landscaped gardens. There is guest parking for 96 vehicles.
“Bella Vista has very much been operated as a hobby business by its current owners – with minimal marketing confined to online bookings and word of mouth,” Mr Pryor said.
“The physical infrastructure and operating systems supporting Bella Vista are solid and highly successful – coming off the back of five years trading which have grown the business from ‘scratch’ to its current reputation as a high end wedding venue.
“The opportunity now exists for a new owner, potentially with a hospitality marketing background, to take the business to a new level. The current owners have identified that this could be achieved on multiple fronts - through potential alignment with the regional tourism body to grow the leisure sector, targeting the corporate market for mid-week conferences and meetings, or growing the boutique function activities of the business.
“With a good reputation in the Bay of Plenty and nationally as a wedding venue, and the bulk of business already coming from within the region, the Auckland market has been identified as the big growth opportunity for building corporate business due to its close proximity only two hours drive, or 45 minutes by flying.”
Bella Vista is currently consented to host 80 large functions annually plus accommodation and smaller functions within the lodge, and is fully licensed for both beverage and commercial foodservice. Part-time staffing numbers range from three staff up to 25 staff for larger functions.
Events can be held in one of two spaces on site – either the small and more intimate lounge-style room within the main lodge building, or the larger purpose-built function room. The function centre is fully equipped with audio-visual and interactive multi-media cabling, and is separated from the accommodation lodge by a short bush walk.
The shape of the lodge’s stand-alone function centre allows for a variety of seating configurations – from formal conference, theatre, boardroom and herringbone arrangements through to informal banquet and cabaret layouts.
Standard rack rates for rooms at Bella Vista range from $350 in winter, through to $550 in the peak summer season when many of the rooms are booked in conjunction with weddings held on site.
Mr Pryor said Bella Vista’s semi-rural location enabled the lodge to host a range of outdoor sporting and leisure activities on sites – including claybird shooting, archery, and helicopter flights. There are also large lawn areas for more subdued socializing.
Each of Bella Vista’s four bedrooms has a classical four-poster bed, along with its own marble en-suite amenities. The lodge is currently unaffiliated with any hospitality entity, and Mr Pryor said this was another avenue through which potential new owners could build turnover. All furnishings and antiques within Bella Vista are being sold as property chattels.
Figures released by the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand (TIA) at the end of last year show one in eight jobs in the Western Bay of Plenty region – some 12.4 percent of the workforce – were in the tourism sector.
The TIA data also reveals that the $1.13 billion a year which international and domestic visitors spent in the Bay of Plenty’s tourism sector in the 2013/14 financial year was equivalent to 11percent of the region’s gross domestic product (GDP). TIA chief executive Chris Roberts said: “This highlights that tourism is a significant and valuable part of the region’s economy and there is the potential to grow tourism even more.”