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NZ River Jet business up for sale

A top-ranked Kiwi jet boat operation that was behind hit Hollywood movies, and once starred on US TV show The Bachelor, has been placed on the market for sale.

NZ River Jet, which operates on the Waikato River between the twin tourist meccas of Rotorua and Taupo, offers New Zealand’s number one-rated boat tour on TripAdvisor.

In 2016 NZ River Jet hit the screens of millions of US viewers when contestants of the blockbuster reality TV show, The Bachelor, took an adventurous river journey. The company’s jet boats were also used to film river scenes for the 2010 Hollywood box office hit, Yogi Bear, starring Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake, which grossed more than US$200 million worldwide.

Filming of Yogi Bear saw a NZ River Jet boat rigged out with the biggest 3D camera outside of Hollywood. The business has also facilitated filming for Without a Paddle, starring Burt Reynolds, and other major movies including The Lord of the Rings, and Kiwi classic River Queen.

For years it has thrilled famous guests on exclusive jet boat-helicopter charters from nearby Huka Lodge.

The NZ River Jet adventure tourism business is based alongside the Waikato River at 6 Tutukau Road, midway along the busy tourist highway connecting Rotorua and Taupo.

The land, buildings and business sustaining NZ Riverjet 2004 Limited, trading as NZ River Jet, is now being marketed for sale as a freehold going concern. Sale is by international tender closing on December 3, 2020 (unless sold prior), through Bayleys’ specialist Business Sales team.

Salespeople Jayson Hayde and Matt Clifford say assets for sale included land, buildings, boats, vehicles and other plant and equipment sustaining the NZ River Jet operation – along with an additional $10,000 of stock.

Matt sats the approximately 2619 square metres of freehold going concern land for sale was located at 4095A State Highway 5, Reporoa, 1.5 kilometres up the road from the business’s leased main base.

The freehold site houses a purpose-built 288-square metre, high-stud workshop facility which securely accommodates the firm’s three jet boats, with a gantry, an external 2,000-litre fuel tank and a large, easy-access turning circle.

"With more than 40 commercial jet boat operations in New Zealand – including two within 20 minutes’ drive of NZ River Jet – the owner has worked hard to create a profitable point of difference as a truly premium adventure tourism operation," Jayson says.

"NZ River Jet is not a ‘quick thrill’. Instead, it offers unique, longer jet boat ‘safaris’ which give visitors an unforgettable adventure as well as a glimpse into New Zealand’s history and pristine natural heritage.

"NZ River Jet has rights to operate on the longest stretch of the Waikato River, from the Aratiatia Dam Full James rapids at Taupo to the Ohakuri Dam face, some 100 kilometres downstream."

"The Rotorua-Taupo tourism hub has seen a lift in domestic visitors as Kiwis turn to holidays at home," says Matt.

"NZ River Jet’s highly visible presence on the main route linking these key tourist towns positions it perfectly to capitalise to the full. Many of its packages provide pick-ups from Rotorua and Taupo, drawing directly from the towns’ thousands-strong catchment of visitors."

"Pre-Covid, NZ, River Jet had experienced increased patronage across all markets over the past four years, in line with its sales and marketing, strategies and business plan. The opportunity is now there to take this business to another level with a renewed focus on sales and marketing for a fast-evolving post-COVID business environment."

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