Moteliers' warm welcome

By PATRICK O'SULLIVAN


Amici Motel, the former Aparima Motor Lodge in Hastings' Pakowhai Rd, was officially opened as Amici Motel on Thursday by Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule.

The Bay of Plenty owners of 10 years, Evan and Janice McKain, decided to take over the property themselves and undertake a major refurbishment after the former operator went into liquidation.

"We have created a new animal to do the same job, but better," Evan said.

"Motels can be so stone and concrete, we want a bit more joy than that."

They asked around in the industry for a good designer and Helen Whittaker of Hawke's Bay Design was recommended.

"She does this sort of thing throughout the country - it's just fortuitous she's on Pakowhai Rd. She has been able to be here every day."

The motel is not the only business the McKains own that has run into trouble - their kiwifruit orchard was recently struck by the Psa-V disease, but not as much as some orchards because they stuck with the traditional green variety which can better tolerate the disease.

"Everyone was making so much money out of gold and we kept saying, 'we'll do it next year' because of the downtime establishing it."

With their orchard in "good hands" they have turned their focus to Amici, which they plan to operate for a year "before the potential is there to sell the business".

He said luck had nothing to do with running a business.

"You've either made a good decision or a bad decision."

So far their move in Hawke's Bay has been trouble-free with a good welcome. "Everyone here is delighted to hear I come from the Bay - they treat me like a local," he said. "They have been great."

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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