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Two Queenstown boutique lodges on the market in receivership sale

Tags: Commercial Queenstown

A pair of upmarket lodges in Queenstown have been placed on the market for sale in a receivership process.

The two accommodation providers – Remarkables Mountain Lodge and Evergreen Lodge – were owned and operated by private company Sleep Overs Ltd which was placed in receivership earlier this month.

The two properties are currently trading in receivership under management of the receivers KPMG, and are now being marketed for sale by Bayleys Queenstown in a tender process closing on March 18.

The tender process is being marketed by Bayleys Queenstown salespeople Larissa Lynch and Mark Martin. Ms Lynch said the properties could either be tendered for individually or jointly. She said that in both instances, the land, buildings, chattels, and businesses were for sale - with forward bookings already logged in at both locations.

“As fully functioning businesses, the room configuration of both properties means they are virtual ‘turn key’ commercial operations for anyone wanting to establish their own boutique accommodation business at either address,” Ms Lynch said.

“With business activities still running from both properties, they are ideally suited to be taken over by new management in time for Queenstown’s peak winter season.”

Ms Lynch said the lodges could prove attractive to existing Queenstown boutique accommodation providers looking to grow their business to a critical room mass – benefitting from shared back-office and operational efficiencies such as marketing, food and beverage staffing, and housekeeping.

“Remarkables Mountain Lodge in particular has considerable upside for growing its revenues through a re-allocation of existing resources. The lodge has a separate two-bedroom separate owner’s/manager’s residence which could quite easily be converted into a premium guest suite. This would have an obvious flow-on effect for revenues,” she said.

Remarkables Mountain Lodge was originally built in the 1930s as the homestead for what was then Remarkables Station. The property has undergone two major refurbishments and upgrades since then – once in 1995 and again in 2004 when more rooms were added. The lodge sits on 8188 square metres of land opposite the entrance to the Jacks Point subdivision.

Nightly room rack rates at the seven-bedroom alpine-style lodge range from $345 - $545. Guest amenities at the upmarket retreat include a helicopter pad, separate sauna and spa, outdoor swimming pool, bar, guest lounge, commercial-grade kitchen and dining room.  The main building also has two staff bedrooms adjacent to the main kitchen.

Meanwhile, the 490 square metre Evergreen Lodge has four guest suites – all with en-suites - and had been operating with a rack rate of $695 per night. Guest amenities include a guest lounge, gymnasium, and sauna, while there is also an owner’s/manager’s living quarters. The lodge sits on 1381 square metres of land in the central Queenstown suburb of Sunshine Bay.

“Similarly, conversion of the owner/manager’s space at Evergreen Lodge would increase its capacity by 25 percent and allow for a premium offering in its room schedule,” Mr Martin said.

Latest Queenstown data in the Department of Statistics Commercial Accommodation Monitor records that guest nights rose 8.2 percent in December last year, compared to the same month in 2014. Concurrent with that, the average length of stay in Queenstown rose, while occupancy rates increased from 69.5 percent to 75.6 percent.

Underpinning this visitor number growth, Air New Zealand is adding an additional 65,000 seats flying into Queenstown over the coming financial year. The biggest feeder cities for this growth will be Auckland and Christchurch.

The Government tourism report noted that international guests accounted for 70.3 percent of all guest nights in Queenstown. The rise in Queenstown’s guest nights was the biggest of any New Zealand region. The data recorded that Queenstown’s motels – a category which includes B & B’s and small lodges - achieved an average occupancy rate of 70.7 percent in December last year.

“Both Remarkables Mountain Lodge and Evergreen Lodge turned in occupancy rates well below that average – indicating that with better marketing and market presence, there is a strong opportunity to grow the revenues of both businesses,” Mr Martin said.

“At current room pricing levels, both venues are geared more toward international free independent travelers. Any new operator could continue on in that direction, or look at restructuring the value-offerings to encourage a greater percentage of New Zealand clientele.

“Alternatively, either premises could also be operated as serviced holiday homes - with guests booking out the entire dwelling as one unit and self-catering.”

Sleep Overs Ltd bought the two properties in 2013. Both were existing accommodation providers operating independently of each other. Ms Lynch said both lodges could also be purchased for use as private residential dwellings.

For further information on the sale of Remarkables Mountain Lodge and Evergreen Lodge, contact Larissa Lynch at Bayleys. Telephone 03 450 3244.

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