An exclusive Auckland B&B business which hit the headlines for its plans to charge $1600 a night during the Rugby World Cup, is on the market after being booked out for the tournament.
Eden Park Bed & Breakfast at 20 Bellwood Ave, Mt Eden, is being sold under the hammer by Bayleys on August 4.
The upmarket accommodation facility shot to the attention of the world's media in May after its plan to capitalise on the cup next year.
Following the publicity, an Australian tourism wholesaler negotiated an exclusive booking with the owners of the four-bedroom B&B - taking the upmarket accommodation venue for the entire period for an undisclosed price. Eden Park Bed & Breakfast owners Anthony and Marlene McAnulty say that while the deal with the Australian tour operator was confidential, combined with other confirmed bookings in 2010-2011, Eden Park B&B now had substantial forward reservations and deposits in its accounts.
McAnulty said that as an unintended consequence of the immense media coverage, he and his wife were now taking the opportunity to sell up and head south, leaving the financial value of the bookings in the pot as part of the deal.
All rooms at the B&B are booked out for this weekend's All Blacks v South Africa match at Eden Park.
"When we started fielding Rugby World Cup booking inquiries from the likes of Australia, Argentina, France and England as a result of the publicity, Marlene and I thought this would be the perfect time to sell, not only as an immediate going concern, but also a tourism business with guaranteed earnings," he said.
"We obviously had a long-term business plan for the Eden Park Bed & Breakfast, but of course that never factored in the sort of turnover created by the Rugby World Cup. This is the sort of business opportunity which only comes up once in a lifetime."
The couple have lived at the 231sq m residence for 22 years, converting it from a family home into commercial accommodation in 1998 - beginning with two rooms, and steadily developing additional rooms with en suites over the ensuing years.
Sitting on 562sq m of land, the property is fully resource-consented as both a bed & breakfast, and aged care home, and has an automatic sprinkler system operating throughout.
The business is the number one ranked Auckland bed & breakfast on the website Trip Advisor.com, and has a 4.5 star rating under the Qualmark brand.
In addition to the commercial accommodation upstairs, the residence also has a private separate living area downstairs for the owner/operators.
The stylish Victorian-themed rooms have a standard rate per night that increases every year. Contracts with the inbound wholesalers and overseas companies ensures that a regular flow of international clients are booked at the property - which is 200m from Eden Park, 10 minutes' drive from Auckland CBD and has train and bus services close by.
Henry Thompson, who is marketing the property, said that while it was unusual for such a property and accommodation business to be sold with such solid forward bookings, the venue also had enormous potential as the result of "piggy-backing" off the upgrading of nearby Eden Park Rugby Stadium and associated extra activity.
He said: "That's where the real opportunity and future for Eden Park Bed & Breakfast lies."