FOR SALE: Long Island Resort and Club Croc
TWO of the region's iconic resorts will soon be on the market with Ocean Hotels announcing the sale of Long Island Resort and Club Croc Airlie Beach Resort.
With the sale to be handled by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Whitsunday, a public marketing campaign will kick off in April.
CBRE's Hayley Manvell said Ocean Hotels had decided to sell their Whitsunday locations to focus on other ventures, particularly their Cairns-based enterprises.
Long Island Resort is expected to fetch $15-20million, while it is hoped Club Croc will go for $7-9million.
Despite Long Island Resort having been closed since February 2015 ahead of a planned renovation, Ms Manvell said the business was still a hot-ticket item.
"Long Island presents strong foundations for an incoming purchaser to refurbish, rebrand and re-establish this once thriving island getaway and promote its absolute beachfront rooms or, alternatively, to redevelop the asset," she said.
"Significant capital has been expended over the years on substantial infrastructure including mainland power, which is a rarity for islands and has resulted in substantially lower operating costs."
On the mainland, Ms Manvell said Club Croc and its employees would benefit from the sale.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for an owner-operator to come in and freshen up the property," she said.
"The sale of Club Crocodile Airlie Beach presents an opportunity for an incoming purchaser to come into the resort, refurbish, rebrand and grow the business, which will actually substantially increase the amount of staff needed.
"We have never sold a hotel to a purchaser who has gotten rid of the staff, but generally employ more and more staff, which is fantastic for the region."
CBRE's Wayne Bunz noted the sale of Daydream Island and Lindeman Island, also handled by CBRE, saying they were "very confident of considerable interest" in both of Ocean Hotels' resorts.
Adding to this confidence is a report from STR Global, an industry research firm, which found Whitsunday hotel occupancy rates grew by 14.6% in the year leading up to January 2016.
PRD Nationwide Whitsunday principal Christie Leet agreed, pointing to increasing visitor numbers.
"Tourism demand in the Whitsundays has had a strong rebound with airport arrival reaching record levels," he said.