The unveiling of a new Airbnb dubbed the Greenkeeper's Cottage signals the next step in Rotorua Golf Club's vision of turning Arikikapakapa into a world-class tourism attraction.
Members of the Rotorua Golf Club were this week offered a sneak peek of the new Airbnb property, which will give patrons an exclusive chance to stay on the grounds of Arikikapakapa.
The house, which was previously a rental for 17 years, has been under reconstruction for the past four months, with the project overseen by consultant and former hotelier Brett Marvelly.
Marvelly has spearheaded the board's vision to revitalise Arikikapakapa and transform it into a self-sufficient community asset that is open to all.
The Rotorua Daily Post spoke to Marvelly in September last year about his efforts to revamp the 112-year-old clubhouse which included decluttering, deep cleaning and repainting the main clubroom, opening up and revamping the "library", redecorating the entrance hall and installing a large north-facing deck with mobility ramps.
At the time he said the building had been in a "time warp" and was not equipped to offer what today's market needed.
But the revitalisation project aimed to change that, ensuring the Rotorua Golf Club became a place Rotorua wanted to show off.
Five months on, Marvelly this week said the addition of the fully refurbished Airbnb was about adding value to the golf course.
"We are creating something the community can be proud of. Our purpose has always been community-driven and by becoming more self-reliant and generating more income, we will be able to pour even more back into the community."
Marvelly said membership fees covered about 45 per cent of the cost of running a golf course so up until this point, the club had been heavily reliant on fundraising efforts by its members.
"The revenue from this accommodation will affect that in a big way."
The Greenkeeper's Cottage is a three-bedroom house with two ensuites and a main bathroom, a spacious lounge and dining area, modern kitchen and a deck boasting uninterrupted views of the reserve.
Rotorua businessman Mike Steiner oversaw the interior design and many of the furnishings were bought and donated by members.
"We would not have been able to do this, let alone to such a high standard, without the generosity of our members, Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, One Foundation and Four Winds Foundation.
"We have shared our vision and people have bought into that vision and believe in the direction we're taking our club."
Marvelly said he was pleased with what had been accomplished since he and his wife had come on board as consultants just before the nationwide lockdown in March last year.
"We have a real opportunity here to make this a major attraction for Rotorua.
"What we have here is a very unique course and one that has the potential to attract every level of golfer."
Marvelly said the club had welcomed new members and enjoyed strong growth in food and beverage since embarking on its revitalisation project.
Marvelly's next focus would be to establish walking and biking tracks through the reserve to showcase some of its natural geothermal assets.
Rotorua Golf Club chairman Leith Comer said the board was determined to make Arikikapakapa a significant attraction for Rotorua.
"The Airbnb is a contribution to that, where people can stay among the beautiful golfing setting and have some lovely accommodation. "
Comer said Arikikapakapa was evolving "as it should".
"It has always been a lovely asset with its thermal features in the reserve but now, the old clubrooms are looking really smart, the Greenkeeper's Cottage is looking attractive, we are progressing to turn this into a wonderful asset."
In September, Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust deputy chairman David Tapsell told the Rotorua Daily Post the trust was pleased with the work being done at the Rotorua Golf Club.
"Arikikapakapa Reserve is a strategic tourism asset that has the potential to further contribute to the repositioning of Rotorua as a visitor destination in the post-Covid environment," Tapsell said at the time.