28 Apr 2021
Words Valerina Changarathil The Australian, The Adelaide Advertiser & RealCommercial.com.au
Queensland buyer's 'oasis' plan for Coober Pedy BIG4 resort
Queensland-based villages and parks owner Lifestyle Villages has bought the BIG4 Stuart Range Outback Resort for an undisclosed price in a bid to create a “desert oasis” for tourists.
“BIG4 is a first of a kind investment for us and one that we have always wanted to own,” Lifestyle Villages director Antony Wiesener said.
“We want to build something special here that turns it from a stopover town to a beautiful destination,” he said.
“It’s the biggest caravan park in the area and in our opinion, it is the one with the most potential and we’re going to take it to the next level.
“My business partner Damien Daly and myself have always wanted to own an iconic caravan park in Australia, so when this park came onto the market in Coober Pedy, it was an opportunity we didn’t want to miss.”
Work on a new 30-metre pool is now underway amid other renovations and fixes which will prepare the property for its July peak demand period.
Mr Wiesener said average revenue from the property over the June-July period rose to $350,000 from the monthly average of $60,000.
The BIG4 Stuart Range Outback Resort features a mix of accommodation options, including 24 self-contained apartments, 120 powered sites and more than 40 unpowered sites.
Additional revenue streams are provided by a licensed pizzeria restaurant and bar, a bottle shop, a gallery and souvenir shop and local tour operations.
Mr Wiesener said Lifestyle Villages wanted to make the resort a “flagship property” and premier accommodation asset in the Red Centre.
“We have travelled from Darwin to Adelaide along the Stuart Highway and stayed in many different types of accommodation and when tourists leave a major centre, then the accommodation options are pretty basic,” he said.
“We have a vision of building a truly great resort in the absolute Outback of Australia.”
“We want the park to be a destination for both domestic and international tourists which will benefit the town of Coober Pedy.”
The property was sold by Kelli Crouch of ResortBrokers.
Ms Crouch also sold two other accommodation sites – the Comfort Inn Coober Pedy Experience in SA and the Devils Marbles Hotel in Wauchope, NT – to Hector Xu of Zed Motels.
ResortBrokers said the combined $9m sale of the three properties was indicative of the high demand for outback accommodation properties as Australians embrace the “good old-fashioned road trip” in the wake of international border closures.