From B & B to an all-inclusive venue
The owners of what was once only intended to be a bed and breakfast have celebrated their venue’s variety.
Linda and Steve Morrison of the Tairoa Lodge invited the public to come through their accommodation, come-catering, comeevent space for an open day.
‘‘We thought, let’s tell the world what we’ve got,’’ Linda said.
The open day included guided tours around the historic grounds, entertainment and allday food and beverage.
Linda said there was a steady flow of people throughout the day.
‘‘There was always somebody having a coffee or having lunch,’’ she said. ‘‘It was a fun day.’’
The Morrisons have been in business for 17 years and Tairoa Lodge is now an all-inclusive venue - but that was never the grand plan.
The business moved at the pace the family allowed, opening a bed and breakfast in the 1875 homestead when their twins were nine months old.
Linda said when they were asked if they had self contained accommodation they moved a cottage onto the land.
‘‘Then someone said, ‘can you cater?’ And I went, yeah, we can do that,’’ she said. ‘‘My staff say I never say no to anything. It’s usually like ‘wow, that sounds exciting, let’s give it a go’.’’
Tairoa Lodge now also has a church hall - which has recently been extended - and caters for all over Taranaki.
‘‘One day we’d have people staying, the next day we’d have a little conference for 10 people so we’d move all our furniture around, the next night it might we a little dinner for 15,’’ Linda said.
However, she said they still have people who don’t know what the Tairoa Lodge is.
‘‘Unless you come to a function, it’s not like you drive by and you see us and you think what’s that, what’s in there?’’ she said. ‘‘That’s why we thought we’d open the doors to the public so they could come through and have a look.’’
Linda said some locals didn’t know much about the lodge either. ‘‘I feel like everyone in South Taranaki must have been here at least three times - we’ve had so many people here,’’ Linda said. ‘‘But people go, ‘oh, I’ve never been here’.’’
Linda said this is her passion ‘‘every day is not the same, and that’s fantastic.’’