Rainforest Retreat taps into high tourism growth

4:31 PM Tuesday November 24, 2015 Colin Taylor

Rainforest Retreat at 46 Cron St, Franz Josef, offers a variety of accommodation options.

Rainforest Retreat, large tourism investment property in Franz Josef, Westland, is for sale with a long-term lease in place to a well-established hospitality operator.

“This property at 46 Cron Street is an exceptional facility that presents compelling investment fundamentals,” says Steve McIsaac, tourism broker at Colliers International’s Queenstown office, who is marketing the Rainforest Retreat for sale by deadline private treaty closing on December 11.

The 2.39 hectare freehold site encompasses a range of accommodation options ranging from a holiday park to modern, private rooms. A popular bar and restaurant provide the business with further revenue streams.

The accommodation buildings, which were progressively built between 2000 and 2015, have been recently renovated and include ‘tree’ rooms raised up into the rainforest canopy. The ‘tree houses’ offer two, three or four bedroom accommodation. ‘Tree lodge’ rooms have large outdoor living areas surrounded by native bush while ‘tree huts’ are stand-alone log cabins with private decks opening out to the forest canopy.

The property also includes motel studio units, a backpacker lodge, cabins, 50 powered campervan sites and service buildings.

“The tenant is well-established and is displaying sustainable business revenue, drawing from the West Coast’s expanding international and domestic visitor market,” says McIsaac. “Rainforest Retreat has signed a new 15-year lease to the property, indicating its commitment to this property. It also has the option to extend the current lease term for three further terms of 10 years each, with the current net annual rental of $1,000,000 subject to regular rent reviews.

“The lease is a ‘triple net’ structure which means the tenant is responsible for all outgoings, which is another major plus for prospective buyers.”

McIsaac says Rainforest Retreat holds a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and is rated fifth best B&B/inn on the popular travel site.

The property is situated on the western side of State Highway 6 known as the Glacier Highway, five minutes’ drive north of Franz Josef Glacier.

“Based on the tourism industry growth rates and the quality of the tenant, we expect to receive inquiries from buyers looking to acquire a significant land holding in a locality that has enduring popularity on the South Island traveller circuit.” says McIsaac.

“This sale presents an excellent opportunity to acquire a strong-performing accommodation investment property at a time when West Coast visitor numbers are growing at a record pace.

“Annual guest night percentage increases on the West Coast are into double figures, and with government and private investment in tourism growth ramping up nationally, the timing is excellent for buyers to secure a well-leased holding like this.”

Guest nights on the West Coast rose 10.5 per cent to 1,267,906 during the year ended August 2015 over the previous year, according to Statistics NZ’s latest Accommodation Survey. This is far ahead of the 5.4 per cent increase in national guest nights recorded over the same period.

The Glacier Country Franz Josef is one of only two places in the world where tourists can view glaciers descending into temperate rainforest. The area hosts 250,000 visitors a year or around 2700 a day - spending around $288 million a year on the West Coast.