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Lounge bar thru to guest lounge CREDIT: Bayleys
The business was formerly known as Miro Ridge Lodge CREDIT: infonews.co.nz
A well-established Ohakune accommodation business - plus freehold land and buildings - is for sale with a new owner able to be well-ensconced in time for the approaching ski season.
The business was formerly known as Miro Ridge Lodge and successfully operated under that banner for a number of years. This tourist accommodation property at 22 Rimu Street near the Ohakune junction après ski precinct was sold in totality last year then refurbished and rebranded as Après Ski Lodge.
However, Garry Knapp of Bayleys Ohakune says the current owner’s ill health means the lodge is now back on the market and available for an owner-operator who wants to combine lifestyle with running a popular business in a proven location handy to the ski-fields or an investor who recognises the inherent value of such a well-located property.
“As Miro Ridge Lodge, this business had a strong and loyal following. Now, with the buildings and decor having been smartened up and improved, a new owner could literally walk through the front door and start hunting down the bookings for the ski season ahead.
“For someone living in Auckland or Wellington hankering for a change of pace and change of lifestyle with around $550,000 plus in their pocket, this option should be considered. It’s just waiting for someone with a bit of get-up-and-go to see the business cranking again – and there’s a ready market for this kind of operation.”
“I believe the best business model is probably that of owner-operator, however, with the lease historically sitting around $40,000 to $50,000 per annum, an investor may wish to secure the land and buildings and put an experienced operator in place.”
On a 2024sq m site made up of two separate titles each 1012sq m and zoned commercial, the buildings comprise a 1920’s standard early Californian bungalow dwelling with a double storey addition built in the mid-1990s.
The lodge offers nine double bedrooms, six bathrooms, reception, dining and lounge areas, a compact commercial kitchen, bar and a two-bedroom manager’s flat. In addition, there are drying rooms for wet ski gear, a large double garage and arguably Ohakune’s largest spa housed in a separate cedar spa house.
The property is fully fenced and has an asphalted car park area for 17 cars. The buildings face north and there are native bush and mountain views from the property.
“This ski lodge has traditionally been an incredibly popular accommodation option in the Ohakune area – it’s been a winning formula. It has offered convivial, relaxed surroundings at a reasonable tariff. Breakfast and home-style dinners were available and as it is licensed, a small bar on the premises proved a popular watering hole for guests after a day on the mountain,” says Knapp.
“Business generally comes by word-of-mouth, repeat clientele or via the website. The winter ski season naturally provides the core of the business however the summer season is starting to build in the Ohakune district as the area is being promoted more as a year-round destination.”
For a keen purchaser who can embrace then look beyond the existing business operation, the sizable commercial land holding on offer in such a strategic location will have appeal. Already in two established titles, a scheme plan exists to sub-divide - leaving the car park space untouched - then do a commercial development on the balance of the site which has mountain and native forest views.
Alternatively, with Council due process explored, it could be possible to get the required number of car parks for the accommodation business on to one site thus completely freeing up the second lot which could be subdivided then sold off as a commercially-zoned site.
“Clearly, the necessary approvals would need to be sought and gained before this could get the green light, however, this path would be potentially liberating for a new owner in terms of cash flow and may sweeten the deal from an economic perspective without disturbing the existing business operation,” says Knapp.
Increasingly, the Mt Ruapehu area is attracting Australian tourists who recognise that it’s the biggest ski area in New Zealand and has the longest vertical ski descent in Australasia. Seasoned operators Ruapehu Alpine Lifts now owns both the Whakapapa and Turoa ski fields and are mid-stream in a massive investment in redevelopment of lifts, snow making facilities, on-field cafes and car parking to increase capacity and establish world-class facilities to match the world-class ski terrain.
The Ohakune town centre and Junction has recently been upgraded with tiled footpaths, feature seating, heritage areas and boardwalks while of particular interest at the moment is the restoration of The Old Coach Road and its incorporation with the new Mountain to the Sea Cycle way being promoted by the Government. This is a cobbled road between Ohakune and Horopito which was in use 100 years ago to transport passengers by coach between the two railheads. When fully restored it will be one of New Zealand’s premier tourist cycle ways and walks traversing native bush, old railway viaducts and tunnels.