Water Sports Business For Sale Leaves The Competition In Its Wake


One of New Zealand’s busiest wakeboarding and
water-skiing aquatic leisure parks has been placed on the
market for sale.

Taupo Wake Park in the Central North
Island operates on a man-made lake just north of Taupo
township, and gives users a simulated riding experience to
being towed behind a motorboat.

Easily visible from
State Highway 1, Taupo Wake Park is located within one of
Taupo’s tourist activity hubs – additionally sustaining
the family-orientated Huka Prawn Park, and the upmarket
Wairakei Golf Course.

102
Karetoto Road – Taupo Wake Park

The
wake park has been operating for six-years – cumulatively
building repeat clientele over the period. User charges for
the facility range from $40 for a 10-minutre burst, or $40
for a beginner’s tuition session, up to $75 for a half-day
pass allowing multiple runs.

Trading seven days-a-week
from 10am, Taupo Wake Park hosts a number of on-lake events
throughout the year – ranging from social gatherings and
well patronised school education programmes, through to the
Central North Island regional heats for the national
wakeboarding championships. Private parties and corporate
bookings are also catered for.

Now the Taupo Wake Park
business at 201 Karetoto Road in Wairakei is being marketed
for sale by negotiation through Bayleys Real Estate’s
business sales division. Salespeople Carolyn Hanson and
Markus Blum said Taupo Wake Park runs as a one-person
operation – achieved through a fully-automated booking
system which allowed bookings and health and safety
compliance to be undertaken on-line in advance of arrival at
the venue.

“The automated system delivers a highly
efficient and smooth traffic flow of users. It also provides
the business with a strong database marketing channel where
special events and promotional activities can be directly
communicated to users,” said Hanson.

The park’s
cable system runs an electrically-powered tow rope between
two towers – pulling riders in a continuous figure-eight
course where users have the option of skimming over ramps
and angled jumps for completing trick manoeuvres. Spectators
sit lakeside on grassed banks to enjoy the on-water
action.

Hanson said support amenities and buildings
within the park included an office, café, bathrooms, and
rental equipment storage sheds. The park also has 25 car
park spaces, with additional turning and space for large
buses and school mini-buses.

In addition to generating
revenue from sessions, the business also hires equipment to
riders of all abilities for $15.

“As with much of
Taupo’s tourism sector, Taupo Wake Park bounced back
relatively quickly from the initial restrictions of
operating under Covid-19 level three and four lockdowns.
With international leisure travel for Kiwis is set to be
constrained for the immediate future, revenue forecasts for
Taupo Wake Park are looking very robust – underpinned by a
strong domestic tourism market for the Central North
Island,” said Hanson.

“Taupo Wake Park appeals to
all levels of users – from beginners and school groups
looking for a safe and non-threatening on-water environment
enabling them to master the rudimentals of the sport, right
through to advanced riders looking to hone their competitive
repertoires on the jump ramps,” Hanson said.

“For
wakeboarding and water-skiing beginners, lessons initially
commence on land before novices are given the opportunity of
riding on the water using radio-connected helmets where
instructors can relay guidance to learners from anywhere
onshore.

“Being on a small and sheltered man-made
lake, the park’s cable tow system is not weather, tidal or
swell condition dependant – ensuring a high-use schedule
throughout the year where riders can be on the water with
zero to minimal surface chop. The smoother the water, the
more enjoyable and productive the rider’s experience – and
there is even for the potential, subject to consents, for
the lake to be geothermally heated, which would be a huge
attraction to park users over winter.”

Blum said
with Taupo Wake Park operating at close to capacity numbers
on many days throughout the high and shoulder seasons –
including school days – expansion of amenities was the
biggest opportunity for taking the business forward to
higher revenue levels.

“The lease agreement for the
park encompasses nearly three hectares of land, of which the
current lake and support services only utilise less than 25
percent. That leaves the opportunity of either expanding the
existing lake’s size, or constructing another separate
lake which would effectively double the park’s
capacity,” he said.

“A bigger second lake could
also support a wider range of aquatic activities – such as
paddle boarding, kayaking, or an inflatable adventure
activities structure.

“One of the attractions of any
expansion of land use at the property is that the
opportunity comes without any additional lease expenditure
and marketing of the new activities could be simply bolted
onto the existing channels supporting the wakeboarding and
water-skiing services.”

Blum said Taupo Wake
Park’s owner would look at undertaking a ‘hand-over’
transition for any potential purchase who was new to the
recreational sporting sector. The business is on a lease at
its Karetoto Road premises, currently running through to
2032, and paying annual rental of $12,394 plus GST. The
property is zoned Commercial Tourist under the Taupo
District Council plan.

Chattels included in the
business for sale include the motorised cable tow system,
jump ramps, wakeboard and water-ski hire equipment, and the
company’s website and marketing
collateral.

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