Whakatane motel for sale, with room to grow

5:00 AM Saturday June 11, 2016 Paul Charman

With 2608sq m of park-like surroundings this motel offers property and income

Whakatane’s Amber Court motel has been maintained to a high standard.

Now on the market, Whakatane’s Amber Court motel offers a good income plus the security of owning real estate, says Darcy Snowden, a motel broker with Christopher Brown & Associates, Auckland.

The package includes a managers two-bedroom house, with two-living-areas, a private covered courtyard, a double garage and carport; nine motel units and the business itself.

When compared to other, broadly similar coastal locations the asking price of $1,090,000 (plus GST if any) represents excellent buying, Snowden says.

“This would be so, when compared to a similar facility in likes the Coromandel Peninsula or perhaps the Bay of Islands. Particularly given the land area and possibility for building more units.”

Set on 2608sq m of land, with park-like surroundings, the Amber Court is far more than merely a place for the guests to lay their heads, he points out.

“Far from the clinical atmosphere common to so many motels, here there is there is plenty of parking for cars and boats, along with a lock-up garage for bikes. All units air-conditioned, there’s free Wi-Fi and a separate guests laundry.

“This adds up to good repeat-business at the Amber Court, which attracts excellent comments on Trip Advisor.”

Snowden describes the motel as solidly constructed, a mix of two studios — one with disabled facilities — and seven one-bedroom units.

Business comes from many quarters, including from those visiting local attractions or friends and family.

Other guests are doing short-term work; attending weddings or funerals or perhaps stopping-off before heading to Gisborne.

Snowden notes that Amber Court is the closest motel to Ohope (about minutes away), with Opotiki only about 25 minutes drive and Rotorua a little over an hour.

“Recently this motel was appointed the only Golden Chain motel in Whakatane, which is already paying dividends, with the advantage of being able to offer and redeem Fly Buys points.”

Since buying the motel eight years ago the owners have maintained all units to a high standard.

They have provided new floor coverings, painted throughout, replaced beds, furniture and chattels and installed heat pumps in each unit. A new owner could move straight in without needing to upgrade a thing, he says.

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Planning to retire

“While this motel is already very profitable the vendors are looking to retire.

“They have already structured their business for a stress-free-lifestyle most would envy, generally taking off one-week-in-six.

“To help to maintain this lifestyle a contractor mows the lawns and maintains the gardens, while sheets and pillow cases are sent out to a commercial laundry. Obviously this gives the new owners the opportunity to increase their net profit, by undertaking more of the work themselves.

“Also, given the land area, there’s the possibility of building more units.”

Snowden believes people from all over the world visit Whakatane for diverse reasons.

“Whakatane is most famous for its desolate and active volcanic, White Island, just off the coast.

“But after trekking over this hot and inhospitable sulphur spewing landscape, for a complete contrast, visitors can make a trip to the restricted nature sanctuary of Moutohora (Whale Island).

This is home to kiwi, tuatara, the native New Zealand parakeet, kakariki; saddlebacks, sea birds and a fur seal colony.

“At the end of the day some like to unwind with a swim at the hot water beach in secluded Sulphur Bay.”

These, of course, are not the only reasons people visit this beautiful area of New Zealand, according to Snowden.

There’s also a number of commercial charter fishing businesses taking guests on fishing trips (particularly big game and tuna), whale watching and swimming with dolphins.

Whakatane boasts excellent surfing and great dive spots, whether for food (crayfish, scallops, spear fishing) photography or viewing underwater “stem vents” around White Island.

“For those who prefer land-based sport there are mountain bike tracks with varying degrees of difficulty and scenery.

“For those who enjoy looking at the night sky there’s an active amateur astronomy association.

“As in Rotorua, there are also Maori cultural experiences and the surrounding bush offers excellent hunting.”

With a town population of about 20,000 and the district of 35,000, Whakatane boasts a rapidly growing tourism sector, plus a diversity of main and supporting industries.

These include aquaculture, horticulture, farming, forestry and manufacturing.

“Whakatane is now the main service centre for the district with good shopping and most national retail, building/DIY chains. To meet tourism and business demands, the town has its own airport. White Island operate from this facility, plus regular commuter flights between to and from other centres.

“Whakatane is also well-served with primary and secondary schools, a hospital, high-speed internet and an infrastructure normally found to service a district of this type,” says Snowden.