563 Arbutus Drive
Mayne Island Capital
Accommodation & Resorts
Nestled in the pristine waters of the Salish Sea, Mayne Island lies midway between Vancouver and Victoria, two of Canada’s greenest and most exciting cities. Mayne Island is 8 kilometres long and 6 kilometres wide with beautiful scenery and several bays and beaches for swimming, clam digging, fishing, hiking and boating. The Island enjoys one of Canada’s most temperate climates with long sunny summers and less than half the rainfall of the Vancouver area. Winters are mild with infrequent frosts. Its year-round population is approximately 8-900 people, expanding to +/- 2500-3000 in the tourist season. The island’s infrastructure supports both its year-round and seasonal visitors with various shops, cafes, galleries, clubs, churches, an elementary school, a library, clinic and fire hall.
Blue Vista Resort is a busy and popular year-round family-run resort, operating since the 60s’—with substantial upgrades ten years ago. It consists of 9 housekeeping rental units (one of which was designed as the managers’ quarters, currently in the rental pool): two duplexes and 5 separate cottages on approximately ¾ acre- two lots—located just across a quiet dead-end road from the Gulf Island National Seashore – at Bennett Bay. Its water is provided by a well-run community system and it has septic tanks/fields (cleaned and inspected in May 2018 by Gulf Islands Septic, as part of the regular maintenance every two years.) This property has only ever been used as a resort, with no previous businesses or improvements on this site. It is zoned C-2
This will be a share sale of a numbered BC company—in good standing with federal, provincial and local authorities for all filings and liabilities. (The same BC corporation has owned the resort 40+ years and the property has never been transferred out of this company… i.e. no property transfer taxes—nor the necessity of setting up another company.)
Included in the sale would be the land, buildings and equipment, website and ongoing reservations/records situated at 563 Arbutus Drive Mayne Island, BC (Lots 14 and 15 Section 9, Cowichan District Plan 15114.(PID 004.196.279.004.196.317)) There is a clear title—with no encumbrances.
We have run this since 2009 by ourselves without labour or any other help except occasional part-time seasonal cleaners and a young couple who managed the place the year before last so we could have 9 months off. Over the years, we have sometimes gone away for a few weeks in the slow season—not “closing”—but just not accepting reservations for a stipulated period. We are the fourth family in the resort’s nearly 50 year history to own and run this business.
Having retired early, my husband was looking for a business to invest in that would provide a better and safer rate of return than the banks or stock market or other investments. Having managed small resorts such as this since I was young, Blue Vista seemed a good fit (and provided our family with an opportunity to live and work in this beautiful part of the world.) It had always been our intention to stay in this about 8 years, build up the business and then allow me to also retire. The time has come!
Over our tenure here, we have focused on a number of goals:
1- building up the depth and breadth of Blue Vista’s customer base
2- extending the income throughout the year
3- improving Blue Vista’s reputation as a clean, affordable and dependable place to stay
4- maintaining its current demeanour as a quiet, well-managed and modest family-run business
When we took over Blue Vista, the previous owners had combined the business with kayaking rentals and tours. As such, the bulk of their guests stayed a limited time (long enough to experience the kayaking tours) and were mostly childless and fit enough to kayak. There was very little repeat business or advance bookings. The property was very busy with little privacy as non guests also rented the kayaks. Upon taking over the resort, we created a lawn, picnic and play area for children and privatized the property for guests only. We focused our marketing efforts on a broader clientele: families with young children, a broader range of couples, groups, retirees, and visiting workers. We reduced the rates when we first took over and spent as much as 10% of our gross income on marketing for a number of years. As the seasons passed and our popularity (and Mayne Island’s!) grew, we have –in the last few years--- raised our rates and reduced the marketing expenses. If you examine the gross proceeds, you can see the effect of this strategy on gross revenues and occupancy.
Currently, we have a large following of individuals, families and groups who book in advance and return several times a year, a number of contracts with various professionals and trades people who work on the island (e.g. the Coast Guard, cell tower maintenance workers, contractors, and local health practitioners). All of this has enhanced the year-round income of the property.
In short, Blue Vista Resort is a well-run and well-regarded business—best suited for a couple semi-retiring or a younger partnership—wanting to earn a good income and live an alternate lifestyle.
We are currently privately marketing the property and are asking $1.13 million. We consider this a fair price given current calculated values for small businesses.
We consider this the ideal time of year for someone to consider stepping in. (When we purchased the property, we agreed upon the sale in April—but waited to step in until October—so we had the winter to get to know the business, island and our clientele.)
We will certainly stay on to train new buyers, but will not stay on long-term to manage the property
Additional details on the property are available on our website: www.bluevistaresort.com)