The Auckland Tramping Club is looking for new ownership of its Mt Ruapehu SnowSports Lodge.
The 32-bunk lodge was built in 1948 and has been maintained and managed by the club ever since. However, low usage and increasing regulations mean the volunteer effort required to operate the lodge is difficult to justify without converting it to a commercial operation.
Of the club’s 360 members, only about 50 use the lodge each year. A majority of the users are non-members, which club president Tony Walton said has allowed them to break even each month.
“We are a club, we are not in business. There’s no point asking club people to maintain something that club members are not using,” Walton said.
The lodge is on national park land, for which the club has a 20-year lease. The options are to either find a new leaseholder and someone to take over running it, or to dismantle it completely. Walton said they’d prefer the former.
“We have to think fairly hard about who is going to be looking after it when we leave it,” he said, adding that it would probably go to another club or outdoor organisation.
“We’re not at all thrilled that we’re having to leave it, but the reality is as a club we have to make sensible decisions while we have the room to move on it.”