Solo mum’s lodge lament

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Dream crashes but Chapple’s not doing runner.

She may be down – but Tanya Chapple isn’t out.

Chapple’s Stormcat Lodge went bust this week but she’s not doing a runner.

“I’m not running away, I’m not doing anything like that,” Chapple, 40, tells Mountain Scene.

Her $9 million worker accommodation complex at Arthurs Point opened just a year ago this month.

“I guess it’s been her baby,” receiver Duncan Fea says.

He’ll keep the lodge open meantime. “Absolutely – it’s just business as usual.”

Tenants have nothing to fear, he says.

Fea won’t reveal who appointed him receiver but company records show a “secured party” is lender Dominion Finance – itself in receivership.

Fea also won’t say what made Stormcat go under: “I’ve got my thoughts but it’s probably too early to be making any comment like that.”

Nor can sole director Chapple comment – Fea’s instructed her to keep mum, she says.

Did she give Stormcat her best shot? “I can’t answer that because it’s not over,” Chapple says cryptically.

Is she referring to a stoush publicised last September with the lodge’s builder over a disputed $35,000 power and gas bill?

“All of that is tied up with this whole situation so I can’t [comment],” Chapple says.

Although thought to owe millions, Chapple won’t comment on possible bankruptcy.

The single mum was labelled “enterprising” in a Mountain Scene story launching Stormcat Lodge in April 2008.

She told how she negotiated a $2.5m deal on the land while in a New Plymouth spa bath giving birth to son Lukas, now 4.

She was also confident of high year-round occupancy in her 98 units of 28sq m each.

So confident, in fact, she planned a 24-unit extension, she said.

Chapple may have been over-confident – current Stormcat tenants number fewer than 20, Fea says.

And while Chapple originally rented single units at $260 a week, Mountain Scene has been separately told today’s going rate is only $160.