Slice of paradise beckons in Rarotonga

5:00 AM Saturday October 24, 2015 Colin Taylor

Te Vara Nui Village at Ara Tapu, Muri Beach, Rarotonga features ‘spectacular choreographed performances’ depicting the history of the islands.

A partnership in the going concern business of Te Vara Nui Village, marketed as “one of Rarotonga’s outstanding tourist attractions”, is being through Tony Andrew of LINK Business Broking of Ellerslie.

“The partnership arrangement will be achieved through the sale of shares,” Andrew says.

“The village at Ara Tapu occupies an outstanding main street-front position just back from the white sands of renowned Muri Beach – a long-established tourism destination,” he says.

“The assets of the business include the village buildings, restaurants and live performance facilities.” 

The business is described as “a high-quality cultural-themed dining and entertainment facility with ancillary cultural village attractions occupying a particularly large inland parcel of extensively developed land that was historically low lying and used for non-commercial purposes”.. 

“The land is subject to a long term Cook Islands’ lease with provisions for regular terms of renewal,” Andrew says.

Andrew says the business includes a South Pacific village tour and over-water cabaret with dining. “This features spectacular choreographed performances in which the drama of the Cook Islands’ history is presented through music and dance, complete with Pacific rhythms, fire and shaking hips. In addition Te Vara Nui Village caters for weddings, company and private functions.”

An “assemblage of buildings of varying size and scale” include a reception and office building, kitchen with storage and chiller rooms, dining decks with canopy, the Are Ariki and Are Moana bars, the Are Vai restaurant and a cultural display building.

The office and reception building is located to the front of the property and comprises a two level structure with concrete flooring, plastered exterior walls, aluminium joinery and roofing of iron construction with natural palm thatching over. The ground floor features a modern reception area where bookings for cultural performances are made along with various office areas.

“The main kitchen lies a short distance from the reception building and has been fitted out to a particularly high, modern standard with full food preparation areas and high grade stainless steel kitchen fit out,” Andrew says.

Preparation kitchens are located close to the bars and dining areas and also fitted out to a high standard of specification.

Are Ariki, one of the facility's three main dining and bar areas, comprises a timber deck structure, elevated above the central water feature, with canopy. The structure is open walled, allowing uninterrupted viewing of the central performance area. A small bar is centrally located within the structure.

The opposing Are Moana dining area is of a similar design and specification.

Three cultural display huts of a traditional Polynesian design are positioned to the rear of the site and beside the Are Moana dining area. Natural palm thatching enhances the cultural appeal of the structures. The interior provide for open plan seating areas, with displays to the perimeter.

The Are Vai dining area and café comprises a timber framed structure of similar construction detail to the other dining areas. It is accessed via a timber deck and landscaped entry, and offers a large open plan space which can be fully secured. Large areas of glazing to the rear provide for a pleasant outlook over the central water feature and performance areas.

“Near the centre of the site is a large water feature, with central performance stage which has been specifically designed for cultural night time performances and includes various lighting and sound systems.

“Plantings of lush Pacific vegetation throughout the site complement the spring-fed lake which features in the over-water show that traverses the lake-centre stage and the water itself. Guests experience the performance from the restaurants flanking the water and central performance platform..”

Andrew says the village presents to a high standard, reflective of its recent construction and has very productive relationships with the tourist accommodation sector. “It has on-site parking with coaches bringing customers from resorts, hotels and other tourist accommodation.”

He says there are many opportunities to increase the incremental business by expanding operating hours, adding revenue-producing experiences, promoting the centre for weddings and functions, and developing the food and beverage service using the fully-equipped auxiliary street-front restaurant or converting it into a standalone café on Muri Beach street front as a separate business unit.

“Under management, this is a well-established and highly profitable business. A new owner could kick back and enjoy it or use their own business skills to take it to an even higher level,” Andrew says.

The village is operated by 17 full time staff, around 18 part time casuals and 26 rostered entertainers.

The business is marketed via a comprehensive website that accepts on line bookings along with a permanently staffed booking office in the main town of Avarua that distributes promotional material. “The village has a strong street-side visual presence and this is complemented by supplementary signage at a number of locations including the weekly Punanga Nui Market in Avarua.”

Andrew says the owner couple has developed business interests and investments outside of Te Vara Nui. “It’s now time for them to adjust priorities to support the next stage of the education of their children and this has given rise to this investment opportunity for an outside purchaser or partner.”