Buyer with naked ambition wanted

By Sam Boyer

For sale for $1.9million: Holiday park on 5.7ha with on-site motel, mini-golf and three-bedroom manager's home.

The catch? It's a clothing-free zone.

The Katikati Naturist Park is on the market after more than 16 years of business, but the sellers are making sure the bare essentials remain on site.

Kevin and Joan Sampson have decided to sell the business they opened in 1996. Any sale, however, would be based on a guarantee the property remained a nudist haven for at least another decade, Mr Sampson said.

"When the sale goes through we'll put a memorandum of encumbrance so it has to stay as a naturist park for 10 years.

"There's been interest all right. [But] it has to be a naturist [who buys it] because only a naturist would handle the nuisances of operating a facility like this," he said.

The 5.7-hectare property includes a motel, three chalets, a recreation room, two ablution blocks and four kitchen cabins. Additional facilities include a pool, two spas, a mini-golf course, a petanque court and trampolines.

The Katikati Naturist Park is the only nudist park in the North Island and one of only two in the country.

"We're probably the best well-known in the country," Mr Sampson said.

He added the park was also well regarded in the tourist industry.

"There's thousands of commercial naturist parks around the world. As a market, it's so big around the world. [And] we've seen surveys that show about 20 per cent of New Zealanders have tried it or would like to try it.

"We're asking $1.9million, and our profits fully support that price," Mr Sampson said.

The park records 16,000 paying visitor nights per year.

Katch Katikati promotions manager Jacqui Knight said that while the camp was not for everybody, it had proven to be a popular attraction. "It's quite unique to the area. I think it's a great asset. It's a beautiful camping ground and the facilities are great."

Pat Selzer, customer service co-ordinator for the Katikati Information Centre, said visitors to the region would stop to check out the camping ground, and often stay.

"In terms of us recommending somewhere that's a park, there's not much here. It's somewhere we always recommend ... [and] sometimes people will come back and say thank you for recommending it," she said.

Petrina Page, from Tourism Bay of Plenty, said the park was a great example of holiday park management.

"Good quality, well-managed accommodation facilities are an essential component of the Bay of Plenty's visitor industry and Katikati Naturist Park is a great example of this," she said.

Mrs Sampson said it would be "a sad day" when they sold the park, but the couple wanted to move on.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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