In On the Market by Clyde Mooney

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After more than three decades building a tropical utopia, the O’Neill family is parting with its huge-format Airlie Beach Hotel on the beach.

Located 1,000 kilometres north of Brisbane and nearly 300 south-east of Townsville, Airlie Beach is in the heart of Great Barrier Reef paradise, and overlooks Hamilton Island.

The prominent Hotel occupies nearly a hectare right on the Beach, facing Airlie Esplanade and Main St, and comprises a public bar, restaurant, conference facility, commercial car park, gaming room with 35 EGMs, and 80 accommodation rooms.

It also holds a number of retail tenancies, the shortest lease until 2022, adding to its diverse revenue streams.

Figures from Queensland tourism bodies report total visitations to the Whitsundays region are up 20 per cent (September, 2016) and occupancy rate up 6.1 to 83.8 per cent. The past quarter saw an additional 100,000 airline seats to Airlie Beach, recognised as Australia’s fastest-growing regional airport. The low Australian dollar is expected to continue this trend.

It is being offered to market for the first time in over 30 years by the O’Neills, through CBRE Hotels’ agents Wayne Bunz, Paul Fraser and Hayley Manvell, in conjunction with Christie Leet of PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

“The Airlie Beach Hotel is situated on a significant 8,819 m² waterfront site, in what is arguably the best location in the Airlie Beach CBD, with never to be built out views across to the Whitsunday Islands,” reports Bunz.

“This is a quality hotel that has been well maintained by the family, with constant capital expenditure totalling approximately $3.5 million over the past five years.”

Bunz says there are several upside options for an incoming operator, including increasing the passive income by leasing more retail floorspace, increasing the number of accommodation rooms, redeveloping the carpark land (STCA) or repositioning the accommodation via strata-title.

He also notes the lack of major international hotel brands in the region and possibilities to rebrand the accommodation.

The Airlie Beach Hotel is being sold via an international Expressions of Interest campaign, closing Thursday, 4 May.