Chris Cheung has shot down rumours the legendary Coogee Bay Hotel is being shopped around, turning down astronomical offers to continue doing what he loves and championing the hotel industry.
Despite media suggesting an off-market campaign to sell the CBH was taking place, drawing the “cream of the crop” including pub superstar Justin Hemmes, it appears the beachfront icon will remain on the books of Cheung’s C!nc for some time yet.
“You only sell for two reasons. One is because you have to, and in this instance I don’t have to, or two, because you get kicked out, and I haven’t been kicked out yet,” confirmed the C!nc CEO.
“I get pitched a couple of times a year. There was a serious pitch, over four months ago. I have been offered $245 million, I can comment that – and I didn’t accept it. This is old news. Bit strange why it’s got a bit of wind now.
“And Justin wasn’t in that play, he wasn’t there. These are developers you’re talking about, this is a developer play, not hotelier.
“It’s exciting. It’s telling me the economy is strong and hotel assets are in high demand, but the long and short of it is I haven’t got an offer that has entertained me that I’d walk away from it.”
Cheung also plays down rumours the pub will be hurt by the pending Dan Murphy’s at Coogee Bay, which will be a pared-back version of the typical super-store.
“I don’t take anything for granted, but I don’t think it will.”
Far from a downturn, despite or perhaps aided by Merivale’s magnificent Coogee Palace, CBH is engineering a revival of the Selina’s space, already hosting big names such as Midnight Oil and The Killers.
“It’s a small step, but a huge boost to the live music industry,” offers Cheung. “Live music: it’s jobs, it’s culture, it’s art … a lot of the authorities are not right behind it, but they are starting to see the bigger picture.
“The industry’s still got me, I still love what I’m doing, and we’ll continue to do what we’ve always done.”