For sale - village with pub, 40 people

WELLINGTON Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:08pm EDT

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WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Stressed-out city executives looking to get away from it all have the chance to buy their own rural village in New Zealand, complete with a pub and population of 40.

Otira, a hamlet on the rainy west coast of New Zealand's South Island, is on the market for $NZ1 million ($715,000).

Current owners Bill and Christine Hennah bought the rundown village in 1998 after passing through and "feeling sorry for it," Christchurch-based newspaper The Press reported on Friday.

They paid $NZ80,000 ($56,000) for the hotel or pub, school, railway station, town hall and 18 houses making up the village near the Arthur's Pass National Park that dates back to 1923.

The village developed when the Otira railway tunnel was opened, and during its heyday was home to about 600 workers and their families.

But the couple, now aged in their 60s, say they no longer have the energy to run the hotel. They are asking $NZ350,000 for the hotel or $NZ1 million for the whole lot.

"We need someone to build it up again. There is a lot of potential and opportunity," Christine Hennah told The Press.

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Dean Goodman)

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