The partial acquisition recently by Event Hospitality in Jucy Snooze heralds an exciting new chapter for backpacker travel. As Co-Founder, company CEO and “Chief Jucyfier” Tim Alpe attests, the snooze brand of pod hotels is a concept destined for global growth. He sat down with Matt Lennon to discuss Event’s investment, growth and much more.
What does it mean for Jucy Snooze to become part of the Event Hospitality stable?
Event has more than 100 years of expertise in the experiences and hospitality industry, offering us invaluable insight, know-how and the ability to fast track our vision and growth plans for Jucy Snooze through New Zealand and Australia, with potential to expand into other international markets.
At Jucy, we are all about giving travellers the green light to have the time of their lives. Working with Event means that together, we can bring this shared passion of facilitating unique experiences to more people. Without the investment from Event, we would only have been able to open a new Jucy Snooze site every few years, and in partnering with Event, our ambition is to be in a position to expand at a much faster rate.
It also means that we have access to their significant experience in hotel development, food and beverage, procurement and operations, as well as capital investment and access to new sites in Australia which will allow us to export the Jucy Snooze concept into that market.
This may look a little different to what we originally envisaged in light of COVID-19 but we are positive about the potential. We will be in a stronger position to grow the business and play a part in the recovery of the tourism sector with Event by our side.
Tell us a bit about the story of Jucy Snooze and how the brand has grown in New Zealand?
The Jucy brand started in 2001 as a little backpacker car business in Parnell, Auckland with a fleet of 35 rental cars, before expanding to become a leader in car and camper hire across Australia, New Zealand and the USA. We then diversified to the Jucy Cruise experiences in Milford Sound and then to Jucy Snooze accommodation, including our Miss Lucy’s bar and pizzeria in Queenstown.
We entered the accommodation market in 2012 and really disrupted the sector – our capsule style sleeping pods were a first for New Zealand. Since opening our first Jucy Snooze, we have grown and currently have more than 900 beds across three properties in Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown, with a second Auckland property in development.
While we originally set out to target the ‘flashpacker’ markets, we’ve seen there is a much broader mix of travellers looking for quality accommodation without the hefty price-tag. It’s not uncommon to see a mix of customers from 55-year-old British tourists to the 18-year-old Swedish backpackers choosing to stay with us.
What are the most exciting elements of the Jucy Snooze concept?
Jucy Snooze is a unique micro-accommodation option, offering pod style rooms that have changed how people think of budget accommodation. Each pod is comfy, spacious and self-contained and includes everything travellers need.
In fact, the concept was refined and custom designed following extensive research into what budget conscious travellers want and need and what they don’t. The pods include a luggage storage locker, power supply and a USB charging port, lighting, temperature control, WiFi connection and linen as well as a roll-down blind for privacy. We also offer private ensuite rooms and shared double rooms for guests who prefer their own space.
How do you think the brand can work in Australia and in what capacity?
We have wanted to move into the Australian market for some time. Obviously, with all that is currently happening across Australia, New Zealand and the world, our plans are on hold, but when the time is right, the locations of the new hotels will be aligned with the distribution of our vehicle rental fleet, which will provide a more seamless travel experience.
Just how many Jucy Snooze properties we will see in Australia is yet to be determined, but what is clear is that when we do make the move, we will be able to move a lot quicker in a partnership with Event than we could on our own.
For the full interview with Tim, check out Page 26 the June edition of HM Magazine – CLICK HERE.