View Full Version : Hanmer Hotel closed- another Covid victim

4th May 2020, 17:53

I have fond memories of naughty weekends in Hanmer in the late 70s to 80s. Even back then us poor teenagers/20s somethings would squeeze our budgets to splash out on a meal and drinks at the Hanmer Heritage Hotel. It was like a right of passage so it saddens me to hear that covid dealt it the final blow.

A lot of our history and memories will vanish from our landscape after Covid bloody 19. Airbnb has a lot to answer for in this instance, and no doubt the writing was already on the wall for this grand old lady long before Covid came along. But it still is sad. Small towns will struggle to regain their vitality and appeal, with once famous landmarks abandoned and derelict. These buildings are our history. [were our history]
RIP dear old Hanmer Hotel and thanks for the memories.

4th May 2020, 18:48
There was talk that the industry would love us Kiwis to take holidays in NZ to get things going again, but there are two problems with that. One, a lot won't have the money to do that if they have lost their jobs or used up all their leave and two, if the hotels are closed like this one and the Hermitage at Mt Cook, that puts an end to a stay.

4th May 2020, 20:43
Welllllllllll. Its been in trouble for years. I've acted for a few buyers and sellers of units in the complex over the years. The thing went tits up the first time after the GFC I think and they did that thing of selling off units and so forth. The issue is that if you are a unit owner your BC levies are quite high because the insurance premiums are horrendous (old building, EQ strengthening etc) and you have a fair bit of infrastructure to deal with in terms of land, tennis court, restaurant, kitchen and so forth. The leaseback to the hotel operator hasnt been profitable for a long time.

The only ones that were doing any good are the owners of the chalet units out the back. I also stayed there last time (years ago) and booked and paid for the room direct with the owner. Weird just walking thru reception saying "Hiya". We did eat in the restaurant that night but were casuals effectively. As I remember the food was pretty good and we had a better than average bottle of wine.

AirBnB has of course killed it even further, as quoted in the article.

The interesting thing will be next steps: a lot of owners might be covid affected too, and unable to fund it (they may have debt funded the unit somehow, plus as I say there are ongoing expenses like rates and opex/BC levies).

What it does have going for it is its location. Commanding point in the town, big site. Now would be the time to pick it up if you could deal with the hold costs. But cancel the lease, do some sort of AirBnB type booking, dont spend a dollar you dont have to, wait for some Chinese money to free up, bada boom, bada bing, make out like bandits.

But will anyone step in, buy it, level it and build something? Never say never - and look at bloody Tekapo which even ten years ago was a blip.

5th May 2020, 10:35
What it does have going for it is its location. Commanding point in the town, .
Yeah that's it in a nutshell, an impressive building with a commanding view down the main street. That's why it saddens me to think it may end up derelict. As you say, the economics are against it now, and who knows when we will return to any sort of old normal. There's not many buyers for such a risky business in recession. A recession heading towards depression.

Paul in NZ
5th May 2020, 16:01
Yes another one we will miss - we spent an unbelievably hilarious night there a few decades ago - like faulty Towers....

5th May 2020, 18:41
Yes another one we will miss - we spent an unbelievably hilarious night there a few decades ago - like faulty Towers....
Don't tell me you mentioned the WAR!!

Black Knight
6th May 2020, 09:13
I got into a tremendous scrap in the bar many years back-a semi drunk forestry worker who took a fancy to my wife,he became a real pain and left me with no option.I ended up with a black eye he a broken jaw.

7th May 2020, 13:06
There is a lot more competition than there used to be in Hanmer, between the new motels and very organised holiday home rental outfits.

Maybe viable as direct booking accommodation without the hotel overheads. Who knows, someone may even be mad enough to run the restaurant as a separate entity, although having observed the number that have come and gone over the years it looks to be a pretty difficult business there.