A new pub syndicate led by well-known hotelier Peter Ashelford and Sydney Roosters chairman Nick Politis has snapped up the Thomas’ Treetops Tavern on the Gold Coast for $20 million.


The Treetops occupies a prominent 7,000 m² site in the Gold Coast’s Burleigh Waters, consisting of a public bar, lounge bar, bistro, 45 gaming authorities, a large onsite liquor barn and drive-thru and a satellite bottle shop.

It was the only Queensland venue of Sydney-based Thomas Hotels, which has chosen to divest and focus on its 17 Sydney venues.

The buyer was a new hotel group, formed by former Lewis Hotels’ head Peter Ashelford and high-flyer Nick Politis, which purchased Robert Frazer-Scott’s Boathouse Tavern earlier this year from receivers.

The property was marketed by JLL Hotels’ national director John Musca, with Brisbane associate Tom Gleeson, who say the $20 million transaction was the highest in Queensland in five years but makes sense in the current conditions and recent run of Gold Coast hotel sales.

“These sales reflect the cyclical trend of interstate hoteliers looking beyond their tightly held markets to invest in South-East Queensland, with interest in Brisbane hotels understandably escalating as a result of the casino announcement and the enormous weight of capital driving the city and fringe apartment boom”, said Musca.

The hotel sits opposite the slated $500m Treetops Shopping Centre development and recently constructed Bunnings Warehouse. Musca suggests the “State-wide” approach being seen in Queensland is proving attractive for expansion-bound hotel groups.

“Hotels benefit from high barriers to entry, and have historically traversed and adapted to modified legislations,” he says. “So it’s no surprise that interstate operators are not fearful of the new legislation, and are scouring SE Queensland for opportunities within the asset class.”

Thomas Hotels declined to comment on the sale, and PubTIC was unable to secure a response from the Ashelford-Politis partnership prior to publication.

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