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‘Pinetrees Lodge consolidates 160 year old family business with new family ownership’

March 12, 2014 Hotel News No Comments Email Email
The 160 year old family business Pinetrees Lodge on Lord Howe Island has recently consolidated its family ownership arrangements with 6th generation owner Dani Rourke, and her husband Luke Hanson, taking ownership of the business from February 2014.  
Dani Rourke and Luke Hanson arrived on Lord Howe Island to help run Pinetrees Lodge after the death of Dani’s mother, Pixie Rourke in 2010. The largest and oldest of the lodges on Lord Howe Island, Pinetrees has provided families, nature lovers, adventure seekers and couples with a unique holiday experience on the World Heritage island for decades. Luke and Dani are now looking towards their children’s future as they work to improve the business and pass it onto the 7th generation.
“As custodians of a family business that has run for over 160 years, we have a genuine responsibility to safeguard this piece of paradise for future generations. We’re consolidating what has been established by my family over many years and will maintain the authenticity of the Pinetrees experience” says owner Dani Rourke. “It’s very special to have such a long connection to our land and business, and to pass them on to our girls in 30 years’ time would be the proudest moment of my life”.
Pinetrees Lodge enjoys a rich family history with Dani’s great-great-great-grandparents arriving on Lord Howe Island in 1842. They acquired the land around Pinetrees in 1848 for 2 tons of potatoes, traded with whaling ships and first took visitors in the 1890s. Each generation had a story to tell, including Uncle Bertie who stowed away on a whaling ship, reached England, and then went down on the Titanic. Since settlement, six generations of family members have worked and lived on the same land, making Pinetrees one of the oldest family businesses, hotels and restaurants in Australia. From 1976, Dani’s mother Pixie Rourke and aunt Kerry McFadyen ran Pinetrees with their husbands until Pixie’s death in July 2010.
“With consolidated ownership comes the chance to improve the Pinetrees experience and broaden our appeal to a new generation of guests. Lord Howe Island rivals Bali, Fiji, Hawaii and Tahiti as a complete island holiday, but it’s only 2 hours from Sydney. Our biggest challenge is getting people here the first time, and if they come once, they will nearly always return.”
“We’re optimistic about the future because the rustic charm of Lord Howe continues to lure people from all walks of life. As the modern world moves at a faster pace, there’s still an important holiday niche for an island where quality, beauty and simplicity surpass the 24 hour news cycle, wireless internet, television and fast food.”
World Heritage listed Lord Howe Island is one of Australia’s most beautiful subtropical islands, and Pinetrees provides a simple and timeless retreat to help guests relax and rejuvenate. For active guests, Pinetrees now offers an annual calendar of special event weeks focussed on adventure activities, photography, ocean swimming, yoga and cooking. These weeks attract celebrity hosts such as Chef Peter Kuruvita and yoga instructor Charlotte Dodson.
Pinetrees Lodge will close for renovations from mid-June to mid-August 2014.

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