By PHILIP CHANDLER
A pending rent increase has spelt the deathknell for Glenorchy’s Bold Peak Lodge.
The business, comprising a bar and restaurant, cafe, function room and 11 guest rooms, closed this Tuesday.
Manager Karl Green, whose family have held the lease for the past five years, says their landlords wanted a ‘‘quite substantial in crease’’, to reflect the property’s higher valuation, if they took on another five-year lease, which they refused to sign.
Their current rent’s $120,000 a year.
Green says ‘‘I think the landlords have shown very little empathy for a small business in a global pandemic.’’
He adds they’d also only given the business two months’ rent relief last year, during Alert Levels 3 and 4, but otherwise hadn’t provided any assistance, ‘‘when obviously global
pandemics are not great for hospitality businesses, especially in a tourist market’’.
Asked this week, Green wouldn’t give a contact for the landlords, but confirms one lives in Miami, in the United States.
Covid has particularly affected daytime cafe trade and their accommodation offering, he says.
‘‘With no overseas people staying in Glenorchy, accommodation took a bit of a hit.’’
The pause in the Aussie travel bubble ‘‘reinforced that we made the right decision’’, he says.
However, he adds ‘‘I’ve had lots of amazing support from all the locals throughout our time here’’.
The lodge had also hosted the Glenorchy Darts Club each week.
Green says most of his eight or so staff have found new jobs.
In April, Mountain Scene reported the business was again on the market, with Queenstown-based TourismProperties.com broker Adrian Chisholm saying ‘‘a buyer should be able to get it for under $500,000’’.
Chisholm this week confirms he didn’t find a buyer — ‘‘just a sign of the times, I guess’’.
Green adds: ‘‘Obviously in the current climate, no one’s really keen to buy a hospitality business that’s pretty heavily reliant on tourism.’’