In On the Market by Clyde Mooney

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The booming Kalamia Hotel has come to market, in the hearts of 1,000 local backpackers working year-round in the precinct.

Ayr is around 90 kilometres south of Townsville, and known as the sugarcane capital of Australia.

The Kalamia Hotel occupies 3,746sqm of prime land with dual street frontages and multiple revenue streams, counting a public bar and lounge bar, nightclub/function room, commercial kitchen and bistro, beer garden, two-lane drive-through bottleshop, Keno room and gaming room with 10 EGMs, with approval for up to 35 machines.

It also holds a quality two-bedroom manager’s residence, and eight accommodation rooms typically used for staff residency.

The region is thriving, with around 1,000 backpackers and short-term workers at any given time, toiling the necessary 13 weeks to secure their visa extensions. Nearby Atherton counts around 1,500 workers.

Most stay in hostels, such as the half-dozen in Ayr, a short walk from the Hotel. The pub has typically employed a number of the transient workers ongoing.

The Hotel structure is best described as “older-style”, but has been well maintained, with no shortage of new fixtures.

The private owners have enlisted CBRE Hotels’ Shane Mullins and Paul Fraser to market the property, who report enquiries were quick to begin.

“There’s nothing for you to do,” states Mullins.

“You go walk into that pub, you won’t have to do one thing to it on capital expenditure. All plant and equipment has been replaced.”

The Townsville region has been enjoying counter-cyclical growth in recent times, and hospitality businesses in prime locations are reaping the rewards of the increased activity.

“It’s just a good, solid business with plenty of upshot,” suggests Fraser. “That whole region is workforce – backpackers, fruit-picking. The key to success is food & bev. Get them drinking and eating.”

The freehold going concern of the Kalamia Hotel is being offered for $3.55 million, representing a greater than 17 per cent return.