Omarama Hotel a prime Central Otago property

10:00 AM Friday November 11, 2016 Colin Taylor

An exterior view of the Omarama Hotel in Central Otago.

The Omarama Hotel, at the junction of State Highways 8 and 84; and at the gateway to the Mackenzie Country and the Waitaki Valley in Central Otago, is for sale with a lease in place to the current operators.

The sale represents the opportunity to buy a prominent South Island tourism investment property, says Barry Robertson, tourism broker in Colliers’ Queenstown office, who with colleague Steve McIsaac, is marketing the property is for sale by deadline private treaty closing on November 30.

The property is made up of 6980sq m of freehold land over two titles and 710sq m of building area, with sealed car parking on site.

The building was originally constructed in the early 1900s with substantial additions and improvements having been undertaken since. It includes 10 guest rooms, a restaurant and dining area and an outdoor garden bar.

The main bar offers panoramic views and provides access to a grassed area for outdoor dining. Further amenities include a commercial kitchen, guest lounge, amenities, office and a managers’ apartment.

The lease provides annual net rental income of $95,900, increasing to $120,900 in 2017.

Robertson says the property’s location on the main road between Christchurch and Queenstown will be a major drawcard for buyers.

“This hotel is likely to be considered a prime tourism property investment, given its position on the main road linking Queenstown and Wanaka with Christchurch,” he says. “Thousands of domestic and international tourists pass through Omarama every day, giving the hotel excellent exposure and consistently high customer numbers.”

Omarama is 45 minutes’ drive from Ohau Snow Fields and is surrounded by a number of lakes including Lake Benmore, Lake Aviemore and Lake Ohau. The popular Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail runs through the town, which links the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean.

McIsaac says the expected growth in tourist numbers into New Zealand will further increase the property’s attraction to buyers.  

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A section of the bar area within the Omarama Hotel. 

“There is substantial growth in incoming tourists forecast across all New Zealand’s major visitor markets, including Australia, China, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. This is prompting buyers to look to get in now and add well-located tourism properties to their portfolios, in the expectation of solid income growth and capital gains into the future.”

Robertson says the hotel is leased with rights of renewal potentially extending until 2030 - providing a long term, passive investment holding.

“We expect the opportunity to own a strategically-located tourism property, with the management outsourced to capable operators, to appeal to a number of buyers located around the South Island and beyond. The current operators are well-established and the business displays healthy turnover, making the hotel a compelling investment proposition.”

McIsaac says the hotel offers a classic country pub experience, making it a popular stopover for visitors passing along the road between Christchurch and Queenstown.

“Both the accommodation business and the cafe/restaurant are well patronised by guests staying overnight or stopping by for a quick lunch on the road.”

McIsaac says, that along with the prospect of a solid income stream, the property offers buyers the potential to develop and add value in the future.  

“There is a large vacant portion of land on the site, around 3500sq m in size which could be subdivided, or used for development of additional accommodation to increase the overnight guest capacity of the hotel.”

Located at the head of the Waitaki Valley in the Waitaki District, Omarama is surrounded by high country mountain scenery and is part of the main tourism road network of the South Island. Routes known for key attractions including the Mackenzie Country, Tekapo, Twizel, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, Wanaka and Queenstown.

Robertson says the latest figures from Statistics New Zealand show that the year ending August 2016 was another period of tourism growth for the Waitaki District. “There was a 20.5 per cent increase in international guest nights, which rose to 148,428, and a 7.3 per cent increase in domestic guest nights, which rose to 276,816.”

He says the South Island’s natural beauty is a key factor in tourism growth for the whole of New Zealand, which is reaching record highs.

“The hotel market is reporting extremely high demand and increasing airline capacity into both Christchurch and Queenstown airports are fuelling the rise in visitor numbers throughout the South Island,” says Robertson.

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Barry Robertson and Steve McIsaac, Colliers Queenstown.