Building an upmarket villa as a base for his own outdoor adventures 15 years ago has led to a thriving luxury rental business for Release Wanaka founder, Nick Frame.
Originally from Melbourne, Nick moved to Wanaka after several years skiing and working in Colorado. Attracted by the endless opportunities for enjoying the Southern Lakes landscape he built a property on Mount Gold Place with a couple of mates, as a base for fishing, skiing and mountain biking.
Nick’s vision transformed the villa into a high-end rental with true local character. He sourced artwork and hand-crafted furniture from around the region to create The Release Private Retreat.
Although the property is no longer in his portfolio, the philosophy behind it lives on both in Nick’s company name and his desire for guests to not just visit the area, but truly experience its unique attractions and environment.
“I used to live in Crested Butte, a 3.5-hour drive from Aspen in the US Rockies. It had a spirit and edginess that I found missing from its slicker, more famous neighbour. I think there are similar differences between Wanaka and Queenstown which is why we only have properties on this side of the Crown Range.”
Release Wanaka now has an experienced, trusted local team of six, managing more than 40 rental properties.
“I also specialise as a under the radar, buyer’s agent sourcing off-market real estate opportunities for investors, then my local team, utilise our trusted local networks and manage the luxury fit-out and furnishing of the properties as high-end holiday rentals. This varies from small renovations to complete fit-outs and appeals especially to property owners who live away from Wanaka,” says Nick.
“We understand local demand and how to maximise returns at the luxury end of the rental market, even down to the arrangement of beds that will attract the widest variety of groups. Most of our customers fit the classic cash rich, time poor profile. We’ve had tech entrepreneurs staying with us to recharge, and ‘digital nomads’ escaping the northern hemisphere winter to work remotely in our glorious summer and autumn.”
Nick says a good reason for staying in a Release Wanaka property is the company’s concierge service –the Wanaka Travel Fixer– that can arrange every aspect of a guest’s stay.
“We say it’s not just where you go and what you do, but who you do it with. We’ve built relationships with professional guides, chefs, local athletes and elite outdoors men and women in our community who embody the Wanaka lifestyle and love to share some local secrets.”