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‘Oar-some’ lodge placed on the market for sale

‘Oar-some’ lodge beside New Zealand’s paddling paradise placed on the market for sale

A luxury lodge overlooking New Zealand’s premier fresh-water sporting hub has been placed on the market for sale.

Lake Karapiro Lodge overlooking Lake Karapiro in the Waikato is a six suite high-end commercial accommodation provider – with nightly rack-rate room charges ranging between $295 - $900. The venue also has a large ‘barn’ building with modern interior decor used for hosting functions.

The lodge was purpose-built in 2004 and has 730 square metres of accommodation and venue space sitting on some 9,921 square metres of freehold commercially-zoned land. The guesthouse was personally built by its owner, Ed Rompelberg, who is a qualified engineer and draftsman.

Lake Karapiro Lodge land, buildings and business are being marketed for sale by Bayleys, with an asking price of $3.5 million + GST (if any). Bayleys’ tourism group salesperson Carolyn Hanson said the lodge was benefitting from its proximity to the hugely popular Lake Karapiro - New Zealand’s premier fresh-water sporting venue.

“The sporting event calendar for Lake Karapiro is booked out solidly throughout the summer months, and is additionally well patronised over the spring and autumn shoulder periods too,” Ms Hanson said.

“The number of events taking place on the lake encompass multiple fresh-water sporting codes. There’s waka ama, canoeing/kayaking, and of course rowing – all of these with events and competitions at both school and club levels, on regional, North Island and national scales.

“To cope with the tens of thousands of competitors coming into the Waipa region, there is a range of commercial accommodation providers operating in the Cambridge region, right through to Hamilton. These range from backpacker style venues, traditional motels and hotels, and at the pinnacle is the luxury of Lake Karapiro Lodge - which has the attraction of being just five minutes drive from the launching facilities for events taking place on the lake.”

Ms Hanson said the addition of the Avantidrome indoor cycling velodrome on the outskirts of Cambridge just a few kilometres away also added another dimension to the Waipa region’s sporting attractions and potential customer base for Lake Karapiro Lodge.

“Again, like the water-based sports on the lake, the velodrome brings in competitors and supporters at both school and club levels for most of the year,” she said.

“Then of course there’s the huge Fieldays agricultural expo’ held annually at Mystery Creek, Balloons Over the Waikato, and the growth in popularity of Hobbiton at nearby Matamata – all contributing to increasing visitor numbers for the Greater Waikato region.”

Ms Hanson said that while Lake Karaprio Lodge had traditionally focused its marketing at accommodation guests, the venue’s infrastructure and landscaping enabled the property to be hired as a year-round wedding venue with two seating options.

“In summer, weddings can be hosted under a marquee on the lodge’s expansive front lawn with uninterrupted views over Lake Karapiro. In winter, bookings could be hosted in the barn. Catering for either location is prepared on-site through the lodge’s kitchen,” she said.

“Mid-sized function hosting is a definite revenue stream any new owner of the lodge could look at developing,” she said.

Luxury guest amenities at Lake Karapiro Lodge include an inground concrete swimming pool and an adjacent spa complex. The barn conferencing and function space is capable of hosting up to 30 guests in a seated format, and is located adjacent to the main lodge building.

Ms Hanson said the nature of Lake Karapiro Lodge meant the venue was able to split its service offering between the corporate sector during the week – hosting small to medium sized conferences utilising both the accommodation and the function space available in the barn – while pandering more to the leisure market on weekends when most sporting events were held on the lake or weddings booked in.

Ms Hanson said Waipa District Council had been a driving force behind not only increasing the number of sporting events taking place on Lake Karapiro, but also extending the length of those individual competitions so that both competitors and spectators stayed longer in the region.

“The council has recorded escalating income from both powered and non-powered sites adjacent to the Lake Karapiro Domain. This replicates what has been taking place at the other end of the accommodation budget spectrum, with Lake Karapiro Lodge servicing those seeking a high-end accommodation experience linked to the sporting events on the water,” she said.
Waipa District councillor and Lake Karapiro Mighty River Domain manager Liz Stolwyk said: "I really want to see longer events being staged on the lake as that benefits everyone - from the accommodation provider, to eateries, and retailers."
"A really good example is the flow on effect something like the waka ama events in January (last year) which brought an extra $5 million into the community."
Lake Karapiro Lodge homestead contains a 150 square metre owner/manager’s accommodation – separate from the main lodge amenities – featuring a bedroom, lounge, bathroom, laundry, and dining room. The business is being sold with a number of reservations already booked in for the remainder of 2017.

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