Gateway location is key to motor lodge’s success

10:50 AM Thursday October 9, 2014 Colin Taylor

Whangarei’s Cheviot Park Motor Lodge, occupying a high profile position on the corner of Western Hill Drive, which doubles as State Highway One, and Cheviot St in the suburb of Woodhill, has been put on the market.

“The vendors have operated this successful motor lodge business for a number of years and have now decided to see it as freehold going concern business along with its land and buildings,” says Darcy Snowden of Christopher Brown & Associates Ltd who is marketing it for a total asking price of $2,850,000 plus GST if any.

“Alternatively the owners may consider selling just the motel business for $450,000 with a new 30 year lease to the purchaser while retaining ownership of the property,” Snowden says.

He says the motor lodge is strategically situated at the southern end of Whangarei only 650 metres from the Whangarei Base Hospital.

“As with any business, the location can have a substantial impact on its success or failure and this one has a high profile position on the corner of State Highway 1 and Cheviot Street so its success is basically assured.”  

                                    Originally a 15 unit motel and 40 person conference room a few years ago the owners purchased the two 3-bedroom houses next door to expand the complex to 17 units. “These 3-bedroom houses are ideal for families, large groups wanting to be together and companies who have employees on transfer or working in the area for an extended period,” Snowden says. “However, should a purchaser prefer, the vendors will sell just the motel lodge given that the houses are on separate titles..”

The business complex and owner’s house occupies 3283 sq m of land with plenty off-street parking for guests and conference patrons. Each of the two houses sits on its own freehold section - one 609 sq m and the other of 484 sq m.                               

He says business for Cheviot Park is sourced from a wide range of people including: company representatives, conference and seminar delegates, hospital staff and patient visitors, holiday makers, guests visiting relatives and friends, families on transfer for work and employees in the area on temporarily assignments.

“Repeat business comes from being a preferred provider to government departments with tenders submitted  to provide accommodation to the likes of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Development, Corrections, NZ Post and the Police.”

Motor lodge facilities include an outdoor swimming pool and private indoor spa pool that is set in a sheltered sub-tropical setting to the side of the conference room..

“One of the attractions that makes Cheviot Park very appealing for guests is the good mix of units. Nine studio units include one with facilities for disabled clients; six 1-bedroom units include three with interconnecting doors that can be opened to create one very large unit suitable for 11 people if desired; and there are the two 3-bedroom houses..”

All units including the houses have Wi-Fi broadband internet access and 50 plus channels to select from on Sky TV. Next to the 40 person conference room is a separate kitchen used to prepare food for conferences and guests breakfasts along male and female toilets adjacent to the conference room.

“During their term of ownership, the vendors added a double garage that is used for additional storage and workshop and which has proved a considerable benefit,” Snowden says.

He says the owners understood the importance of maintaining the motel to a high standard so as to ensure that their guests returned.

“Over the last two years they have repainted the exterior, including roofs, of the motel and houses and upgraded the driveway entrance. They also had a new bathroom, floor coverings and a heat pump and air-conditioning unit installed in the manager’s accommodation.

Since Transit New Zealand completed major road works on the corner of State Highway 1 and Maunu Rd which leads to the hospital a new fence has been erected that not maintains privacy also ensure a quiet environment for the guests.”

Due to other commitments the owners now employ a full time manager and five part time cleaning staff who are on call but only work as and when needed.

The complex has its own laundry with three large washing machines and three dryers. “Because it is managed the owners have chosen to have the linen and towels laundered by a commercial laundry company, something the new owners may wish to undertake themselves to increase profits,” Snowden says.

A storage room for clean linen and cleaner’s trolleys is located adjacent the laundry and a coin operated washing machine and dryer is available for guests to use..

Snowden says changing technology is resulting in more people are using social networking sites to book on-line through the motor lodge’s website and via a Facebook page. “These sites also allow guests to check the facilities before booking on line,” he says.

Also for sale as part of the complex is the spacious owner or manager’s accommodation comprising three bedrooms, large open plan lounge, kitchen and dinning room, separate shower, separate toilet and separate bathroom with a bath.

“Motel ownership offers a lifestyle unlike most other businesses, in that it provides a number of advantages including no travel to and from work, plus on site living and the financial benefits,” Snowden says.

“Cheviot Park Motor Lodge has an excellent track record over many years with constantly high profits aided by its location, the growth taking place in Whangarei and developments at Marsden Point. Along with the region’s traditional tourism, forestry, and farming industries, these factors should continue unabated to make this a highly successful hospitality business.”