Big-hitting cricket ground motel bounced out for sale

PRESS RELEASE: Bayleys

A motel complex with ‘grandstand’ views over New Zealand’s oldest and most revered test cricketing venues has been placed on the market for sale.

The Marksman Motor Inn in Sussex Street, central Wellington, is immediately across the road from the Basin Reserve – the only cricket ground in New Zealand to have Historic Places Status as a Category II entity.

Located two kilometres south of Wellington CBD near the base of Mount Victoria, the Marksman Motor Inn operates 19 units in a configuration of studio, one and two-bedroom suites. Nightly rack-rates range from $135 for the studio units up to $190 for the two-bedroom suites.

In the year to March 2017, the property operated an occupancy rate of 72 percent – well ahead of the industry average for Wellington of approximately 61.5 percent. The property has a four-star rating under the Qualmark accreditation programme.

The Marksman Motor Inn was built in the 1990s and sits on some 1068 square metres of land which sustains not only the accommodation units but also 14 car parks. All rooms in the property feature standard motel amenities – such as microwaves, fridges, tea and coffee making facilities, heaters and queen-size beds.

The Marksman Motor Inn is being marketed for sale by deadline private treaty through Bayleys Real Estate. Offers close on Friday August 18. Bayleys tourism and hospitality sales specialist Carolyn Hanson said the business was also being sold with a three-bedroom owner/managers dwelling within the premises.

She said the Marksman Motor Inn business still had 21 years left on its operating lease, with options to extend that timeframe out further. The business currently pays an annual lease of $245,998.

Government figures show Wellington is the fourth biggest commercial accommodation market in New Zealand by guest nights – coming in behind Auckland, Canterbury and Queenstown.

Ms Hanson said that commercial accommodation providers in Wellington – as a major city sustaining both a high degree of corporate activity, and complimentary leisure attractions – could target two different customer segments according to the time of the week.

“A very limited occupancy capacity among Wellington’s bigger, branded hotels in the CBD has meant their room rates have been kept at premium levels for some years now. For the Marksman Motor Inn and its city-fringe location, this has meant a growing number of independent business travelers have taken advantage of the lower room rates throughout the week,” Ms Hanson said.

“Building on the price-point appeal, the Marksman also benefits from being situated directly on the main arterial route linking Wellington airport with the CBD.

“The business has also profited from Wellington City Council’s highly-proactive tourism and visitor growth strategies which have broadened out the city’s appeal.

“Wellington’s leisure-traveler focused events calendar under the Positively Wellington banner now offers drawcards to a multitude of audiences – ranging from the long-running World of Wearable Arts and involvement with major sporting tours such as the rugby and cricket world cups or the recent Lions tour, through to the likes of comedy and film festivals, Beervana, and regularly rotated exhibitions at Te Papa museum.”

The resulting increase in business from the dual revenue streams has seen the Marksman Motor Inn’s sales revenues increase by 23 percent over the past four financial years. Concurrently, the business’s profits have grown by 63 percent over the same period.

“The Marksman’s owners have operated a programme of ongoing maintenance and refurbishment on the motel’s inventory of fittings and chattels – meaning room rates have been regularly raised above the rate of inflation,” Ms Hanson said.

“Similarly, the building’s exterior and grounds have also been kept in immaculate condition to reflect the professional presence of the property. In a calculated value-add proposition, the Marksman’s guest car parking spaces are wider than other standard motel properties – which allows ‘tradie’ utes and vans to be easily located outside the units.”

A 2016 Tourism Infrastructure report by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment highlighted that motels were the second biggest commercial accommodation provider type in New Zealand, coming in behind hotels.

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