Liquor giant buys hotel
By EDIE SCOTT
The Stortford Lodge Hotel and Cellars, Hastings, has been sold to giant liquor retailer Magnum Corporation for an undisclosed amount.
The owner of the hotel, Mr Buck Buchanan, said the multi-million dollar deal would take effect from December 1.
Mr Buchanan said he aimed to channel money from the sale into his latest project – a casino planned for a site he owns adjacent to his Great Wall Restaurant on Napier’s Marine Parade.
He said Magnum had been interested in buying the Stortford Lodge and Stortford cellars for a number of years but he had always said no.
“I changed my mind recently because of the project going on in Napier and the need for some substantial capital to invest in that,” he said.
Mr Buchanan said he would be travelling to Tasmania in January to look at a casino operation there because he believed it would be better suited to the New Zealand way of life than casinos he viewed saw in Queensland.
He said apart from his casino project, another reason for selling the lodge and cellars was that none of his children were interested in the hotel.
“I decided it was better to sell it now in an orderly fashion,” he said.
In a statement released today Magnum Corporation confirmed the deal, saying the Commerce Commission had recently approved it.
The company already owned Liquorland outlets in Hastings and Napier and prior to buying the Stortford Lodge believed its operations in Hawke’s Bay were inadequately represented.
Magnum owns 45 liquorland branches throughout New Zealand and also owns the Robbie Burns cut price liquor group.
Mr Buchanan bought the hotel in 1953 for £21,000 with his first week’s takings amounting to £740.
He said today the business has an annual turnover of $10-million.
Photo caption – Mr Buchanan outside his Stortford Lodge Hotel, which he has sold to liquor retailer Magnum Corporation. Photo: Tim Whittaker