Comiskey Group has always catered their venue offerings to the surrounding area, and 2019 saw that business strategy pay off big time.

After a couple of very busy years of expansion and reinvention, you would understand if Comiskey Group spent 2019 taking a breath. Instead, it forged ahead with renovations, a new business partnership and a new venue.

BIG4 partnership

Comiskey Group launched the Sandstone Point Holiday Resort in partnership with BIG4 Holidays Parks at the end of 2018, and the venture has proven to a big success for both parties.

“In less than a year of operation we became the highest selling BIG4 park in Australia, which was definitely a major win for the group, but our biggest achievement has been the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have had from our guests,” states director Rob Comiskey.

“We put a lot of thought and hard work into designing a resort which caters to every type of stay with world class facilities for both children and adults so it has been rewarding to see such success.”

Comiskey says that partnering with BIG4 has helped the group learn a lot about the holiday-park business.

“Partnering with BIG4 Holiday Parks was a great decision for us. BIG4 have helped with exposure on a national scale and have provided guidance on all things from operations to marketing. Their guidance has been very beneficial considering this project was our first endeavour into the holiday park industry.”

Buys and renos

The group’s other major venue, Eatons Hill Hotel, wasn’t left idle either, with renovations undertaken at the award-winning pub. A significant amount of capex was put into the renovation of the hotel’s gaming room, bistro, beer garden and rooftop bar, with the nightclub and ballroom still to be completed.

“It is important that we continue to invest and reinvent ourselves to improve our customer experience as best we can, incorporating new technology and ideas to maintain our high standards and increase our wow-factor.”

In another significant spend for the year, Comiskey Group added the Samford Hotel to its portfolio, making it an inland complement to the group’s strategically located venues in the greater Brisbane area.

“Samford was always an appealing area for us – it maintains a small-town country feel and is still within close proximity to Brisbane. It’s a beautiful destination for families just like our other venue on the water, Sandstone Point Hotel. Sandstone Point is a nice area for a sea change and Samford makes for a nice tree change,” says Comiskey.

“We believe its location nicely ties back to our current portfolio and is strategically a fit for us taking into account scale and operation. We are very excited because Samford Hotel has immense potential being in the heart of the town centre.”

No slowing down

Comiskey Group will remain active in 2020, starting with a renovation of the Samford Hotel, including a new menu for the venue that supports local farms and produce.

Expansion of the group will also continue, with approvals underway for a brand new venue in Noosa, and plans to double the size of the BIG4 Sandstone Point Holiday Resort with additional accommodation and new, unique facilities that Comiskey promises will be an incredible addition to the resort.

“We look forward to seeing what 2020 brings.”

This article was originally published in Australian Hotelier’s 2020 Annual Industry Leaders Forum issue, which you can view here.

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