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Piece of history for sale


Media release




3 June 2008



Piece of history for sale in pristine corner of Godzone

An iconic part of South Island history is for sale in a postcard perfect location.  The Fox Glacier Hotel has been part of the landscape for decades and is now available to the market by private treaty.

The 82-room hotel, established in 1929, is located in the heart of the Fox Glacier Township and is being marketed by international property advisors, DTZ.

Listing agent, Bud Hedrick says the hotel is located in prime position to take advantage of the growing tourist industry.

“Nestled in a World Heritage Park, ‘The Fox’ is one of the areas most iconic properties and consistently attracts world-wide patronage from both group tours and independent travellers.”

“The New Zealand ‘clean and green’ image marketed internationally is put on full display in Fox Glacier.  It really is the hub of eco-tourism in the area and provides great access to some of this country’s greatest sights,” says Hedrick.

In addition to the hotel, the property also houses the Mountain Goats Bakery and Café, a favourite for both locals and tourists.  The infamous Climbers Rest Bar is also known to have one of the largest fire places in the area and famous personalities such as the late Sir Edmund Hillary have enjoyed its hospitality.

‘The Fox’ as it is widely known is part of the Mainstay group made up of a network of 43 hotels and is marketing by Mitchellcorp, one of the largest movers of independent travellers in New Zealand with sales of up to 20,000 room nights each month over the summer season.

Situated on nearly two hectares, the property would appeal to buyers interested in the significant potential for development.  With large amounts of under-utilized land on the site, the opportunity exists for the new owner to write the next chapter in the hotel’s long history.

Recent work to investigate development potential identified the site as being suitable for a 200 room resort type hotel.  The redevelopment would involve the relocation of Kowhai Lodge to the rear of the site and a new structure put in its place along with the removal of existing obsolete buildings.

Expansion and renovation have been part and parcel of the hotel’s vibrant history.  Over the years several buildings were added to the original structure including the Weheka and Kowhai Lodges in the 1930’s.  In 1954 the Elliott Wing was built followed by the current bar and café and in the two following decades both the Main Block and Sullivan Blocks were added.

For the last five years the owners have sought to upgrade the hotel and have conducted annual renovations on varying parts of the hotel complex.  The latest project involved the removal of 80 tonnes of material and the installation of 4.5 kilometres of electrical wiring to bring the building into compliance with fire safety regulations.

According to DTZ Research, the West Coast’s tourism market continues to experience growth after an initial boom in the early 2000’s.  Total guest nights sold increased by 1.3 per cent in the March 2008 year.  The Tourism Research Council also released figures in August 2007 stating that by 2013 total visits to the West Coast are forecast to increase by 358,000 or 18.8 per cent.

DTZ has the sole agency for the Fox Glacier Hotel and agents, Bud Hedrick and Barry Collard, are marketing the property by deadline private treaty closing 17 July 2008 at 4pm unless sold prior.




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