Luxury Bay of Plenty lodge has room to grow

5:00 AM Saturday May 9, 2015 Colin Taylor

Exterior view of Bella Vista Lodge which is for sale at 1000 Ohauiti Rd, Ohauiti, near Tauranga.

A luxury Bay of Plenty function and accommodation venue which hosted contestants in the reality television series The Bachelor has been placed on the market.

Bella Vista Lodge at 1000 Ohauiti Rd, Ohauti about 20 minutes’ drive from Tauranga is a four-bedroom lodge, with additional staff quarters, and function centre equipped with commercial kitchen, bar, and catering amenities.

“The lodge’s hospitality operations can cater for functions of up to 250 guests,” says Jeremy Pryor of Bayleys Tauranga who is marketing Bella Vista’s land, buildings and going concern business for sale by negotiation.

Pryor says the offer encompasses the main 579 sq m lodge, separate 520 sq m function centre and a 90 sq m cottage on 5.695 hectares of rural land featuring landscaped gardens along with guest parking for 96 vehicles.

 “Bella Vista has very much been operated as a hobby business by its current owners – with minimal marketing confined to online bookings and word of mouth,” Pryor says.

“The physical infrastructure and operating systems supporting Bella Vista are solid and highly successful – coming off the back of five years trading which have grown the business from ‘scratch’ to its current reputation as a high end wedding venue.

“A purchaser, especially one with a hospitality marketing background, could take the business to a new level. The current owners say increased revenue possibilities could be achieved on multiple fronts targeting the corporate market for mid-week conferences and meetings, or growing the boutique function activities of the business.

“With a good reputation in the Bay of Plenty and nationally as a wedding venue, and the bulk of business already coming from within the region, the Auckland market has been identified as the big growth opportunity for building corporate business with it being only two hours’ drive away or a 45 minutes’ flight..

“The lodge is currently unaffiliated with any hospitality entity and this is another avenue through which potential new owners might build turnover,” Pryor says.  

Bella Vista is currently consented to host 80 large functions annually plus accommodation and smaller functions within the lodge, and is fully licensed for both beverage and commercial foodservice. Part-time employees range from a staff of three up to 25 for larger functions.

Events can be held in one of two spaces on site – either the small and more intimate lounge-style room within the main lodge building; or the larger purpose-built function room. The function centre is fully equipped with audio-visual and interactive multi-media cabling and is separated from the accommodation lodge by a short bush walk.

The shape of the lodge’s stand-alone function centre allows for a variety of seating configurations from formal conference, theatre, boardroom and herringbone arrangements through to informal banquet and cabaret layouts.

Standard rack rates for rooms at Bella Vista range from $350 in winter, through to $550 in the peak summer season when many of the rooms are booked in conjunction with weddings held on site.

1000 Ohauiti Rd, Tauranga - Bella Vista Lodge - function room.jpg

Interior view of diningroom set for a function at Bella Vista Lodge. 

Pryor says Bella Vista’s semi-rural location enables the lodge to host a range of outdoor sporting and leisure activities on site including claybird shooting, archery, and helicopter flights. Large lawn areas allow for more subdued socialising.

Each of Bella Vista’s four bedrooms has a classical four-poster bed, along with its own marble ensuite amenities.

All furnishings and antiques within Bella Vista are being sold as property chattels.

Pryor quotes figures released by the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand (TIA) at the end of last year showing that one in eight jobs in the Western Bay of Plenty region – some 12.4 per cent of the workforce – were in the tourism sector.

“The TIA data also reveals $1.13 billion a year was spent by international and domestic visitors in the Bay of Plenty’s tourism sector in the 2013/14 financial year which was equivalent to 11 per cent of the region’s gross domestic product.

“The association’s chief executive Chris Roberts says the figures highlight that tourism is a significant and valuable part of the region’s economy and there is the potential to grow tourism even more.”