They’re calling it the opportunity of a lifetime – and hopeful buyers have been calling from New York, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Melbourne, wanting to mix business with pleasure in a little piece of paradise.
After 20 years operating a busy backpackers’ hostel in one of the most expensive areas of Queensland, Sunshine Beach, the owner has finally put the business, and his house next door, up for sale. And as a result, the phone is ringing hot.
“We’ve had so many expats getting in touch, saying they’re thinking of coming home and they’re looking for a great lifestyle and a business they can operate to go with it,” said Rachel Sellman, of agents Century 21 Conolly Hay Group Noosa.
“This looks absolutely perfect to so many people. It’s a really successful backpackers hostel that can sleep up to 65 people, and it’s a great going concern on quite a lot of land in one of the most expensive suburbs in Queensland, backing on to the beautiful national park. It’s hard to get that kind of hostel licence in or around Noosa and when you consider how many tourists we attract every year …”
The Dolphin Backpackers, on 1839 square metres of land at 14-16 Duke Street, Sunshine Beach, is for sale by negotiation with a price guide of about $6.5 million.
With 24 air-conditioned bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, eight kitchens, seven communal living areas and seven car spaces, all surrounded by tropical gardens and a pool, it’s one of the best-known budget hubs in town.
The beach is only a short walk, as are the local shops, cafes, the surf club, Hastings Street and Noosa Junction.
While Ms Sellman said it was such a good business that any purchaser would be mad to close it down, the large site offered plenty of other opportunities for development.
“There’s plenty of land around it which means lots of room for development,” she says. “And it’s such a good operation. My office is just opposite it, but it’s so well-designed, you never hear a sound coming from it, even at weekends. We’ve been receiving calls about it from around the world.”
The president of the Noosa Chamber of Commerce, Janet Kake, said business was booming in the area, and with all indications that it would continue to do so.
“We’re seeing so much capital growth here, much higher rates than anywhere else in Queensland, including Brisbane and the Gold Coast,” she said. “Here in Noosa, it’s such a unique place with the beaches, parks and hinterland so close, as well as great transport links for tourists, it’s always going to grow.
“It’s a beautiful place to live, but also a wonderful place to run a tourism business with so much energy among the local business community. We’re very tight-knit and always ready to support and help each other. It’s a very happy place.”
There was also a great deal of infrastructure going on in the region that would continue to lure visitors, said Simon Latchford, chief executive of Visit Sunshine Coast.
“There’s a lot happening in the area, but we’re very careful not to over develop it at the risk of ruining its natural beauty,” he said.
“That means the Sunshine Coast will continue to grow well into the future, and remain one of the most beautiful spots on Earth.”
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