Search for holiday park operator

After deciding to keep Stratford's holiday park, the council will soon begin the search for someone to manage the facility and give it a much-needed makeover.

At this week's meeting in Stratford, councillors supported a recommendation to begin advertising to find people interested in taking on a long-term lease of the park.

The council is unable to sell the park due to its status as a recreational reserve. Other options, such as closing it, were also ruled out.

Although the current lease does not expire until June 2016, Mayor Neil Volzke said decisions on the park needed to be made "reasonably promptly" in case additional spending or planning needed to be included in the council's long-term schedule.

Council property officer Neil Cooper said there was strong support from the Stratford community to keep the holiday park going.

According to this year's council satisfaction survey, 91 per cent of the Stratford public believed the park added value to the town.

As the management of the park was not considered to be core council business, Cooper said the next job was to find someone suitably qualified to take over.

It was also an option for the current lessee, who had been at the park since 1996, to register their interest. "The park remains a viable business opportunity in the right hands," he said.

The council expects the successful applicant to take on the responsibility and cost of the much-needed park upgrade.

Cooper told councillors there was no "plan B" if no-one took over the lease.

The council would be in a better position to make decisions about the park's future management after the expression of interest period had been completed, which was likely to be in October.

Taranaki Daily News