South Island motor lodge a hot property and business

10:00 AM Wednesday July 29, 2015 Colin Taylor

The Hot Springs Motor Lodge at 35 Hanmer Springs Rd, Hanmer, North Canterbury.

The Hot Springs Motor Lodge in the South Island’s thermal capital of Hanmer Springs and at the base of a popular New Zealand cycle trail has been placed on the market for sale.

The accommodation and hospitality facility at 35 Hanmer Springs Rd and 2 Fraser Close in the heart of the North Canterbury the tourist village, is being offered for sale as a freehold property and going concern business.

“The sale presents an opportunity for a new owner to expand the current operation catering to cyclists, adventure seekers and tourists visiting Hanmer’s renowned hot pools along with tapping into the corporate business market,” says Peter Harris of Bayleys Christchurch who is marketing the lodge with colleague Kate Mullins.

The 8164 sq m property encompasses two double storey accommodation blocks housing a total of 32 units. A reception office, manager’s residence and garage are also housed in one of the accommodation blocks and next door is a conference centre, including meeting rooms, with the capacity to seat up to 200 people.

Mullins says the lodge hosts a number of key corporate clients throughout the year, providing a reliable income source in the low tourist season.

“Being just a 90 minute drive from Christchurch, the lodge is an attractive destination for businesses looking to hold a conference in a picturesque spot, with recreational activities to fill any down time and in a location that’s easily accessible by road and air,” she says.

Just two years ago the current owners undertook a significant refurbishment of the restaurant and bar areas to create Five Stags, a fully licensed food and beverage establishment modelled on a traditional high country hunting lodge.

35 Hanmer Springs Rd, Hanmer Springs - interior.jpg

The Five Stags restaurant and bar areas in the Hot Springs Motor Lodge are modelled on a traditional high country hunting lodge.

“The current owners also have a good relationship with an outdoor pursuits organisation that runs team building activities for corporate guests,” Mullins says.

Mullins says conference hosting has been identified as a key growth area for the lodge which has the potential to develop additional facilities on a vacant plot of land adjacent to its buildings.

The bare 6685 sq m parcel of land, to the south east of the motor lodge fronting onto the main road.

Adjoining and also available for purchase is a three bedroom standalone home that would enable a new owner to enjoy a live and work lifestyle on site.  

The lodge is within walking distance of local town centre and the town’s major attraction, Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa Resort.

Harris says the hot springs have been drawing visitors to the quaint alpine village for more than 125 years. “Around 520,000 people now pass through its gates each year, a quarter of whom are international tourists.” The complex comprises rock and sulphur pools, a children’s’ activity pool, lazy river, water slides, picnic areas and a café.

“It is a popular feature of the established tourist itinerary,” says Harris. “This especially applies to those many tourists engaging in physical activities in the region such as cycling, mountain biking, hiking, skiing and white water rafting. The private pools, sauna, steam room and luxury spa house have soothed many tired muscles after a day spent in the nearby mountain ranges.”

Harris says the Hot Springs Motor Lodge is also one of the closest accommodation providers to the popular St James Cycle Trail, a 64 km cycle loop traversing mountain peaks, alpine meadows and forest.

He says the St James Cycle Trail was the first of 19 ‘Great Rides’ spanning the length of the country to open as part of the $50 million New Zealand Cycle Trail project.

“The peak season runs from November to April and, while no official data is available specifically for the St James Cycle Trail, similar routes such as the Hauraki Rail Trail have been known to attract around 10,000 riders per month during high season.”

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A wide frontal view of the Hot Springs Motor Lodge.

Harris says the new owner will have the full support of the Hurunui District Council and be bolstered by a raft of measures in place to promote the Hanmer Springs region to international visitors.

“Over the next five years the council has set aside a considerable sum for the development of a smartphone app to showcase the area to visitors and enhance their overall experience. Work is also being done on a visitors’ guide, website and targeted marketing material that is set to have a positive flow-on effect to local businesses.”

Harris says the sale offers a buyer the chance to take advantage of promising growth in the local tourism industry and rising occupancy rates.

“Hanmer Springs is at the top of the list for international visitors to the South Island and official figures show they are spending more in the area year-on-year, especially on food, beverage and accommodation.

“Domestic tourist expenditure in North Canterbury topped $220 million in the year ending March 2014, while international tourist expenditure totaled $90 million in the same period.

The latest Hanmer Springs Visitor Indicator Report found overall tourist numbers to be on the rise and a 7.2 per cent increase in international hotel guests to the region.”