Two and a half years after putting the Whitsunday region hotel on the market, the O’Neill family has sold the Airlie Beach Hotel for $22 million. The family had owned the hybrid accommodation hotel and pub for 30 years.

The leasehold was sold to a new group, ABH Hotel Pty Ltd, almost a year ago, which has now secured the freehold property rights as well – for a combined $22 million. The sale was negotiated by CBRE Hotels national director, Wayne Bunz, and colleague Hayley Manvell.

The Airlie Beach Hotel offering consists of 80 accommodation rooms, conferencing, commercial car park, restaurant, public bar, retail liquor, 35 gaming machines and stable retail rental income.

Immediately upon taking over the leasehold, ABH Holdings undertook a $10 million renovation of the property.

“The new owners immediately elevated returns by optimising venue operations and reducing overheads. Their subsequent purchase of the property freehold provides further evidence of a resurgence in the Airlie Beach and broader Whitsundays region, with investor sentiment on the rise,” stated Bunz.

Manvell said there was strong investor demand for coastal and regional assets priced below $25 million, with investors chasing yield in markets where occupancy levels were starting to rebound.

“Driving this rebound is the recovery in the resources sector, most notably the strong growth in the price of iron ore, coupled with the decline in the Australian dollar, which is resulting in increased levels of tourism.

“Further fueling interest is the cost of borrowing, with investors benefitting from record low interest rates following the RBA’s delivery of two 25bps cuts since the federal election.”

Airlie Beach Hotel is located within the Airlie Beach CBD, with three major street frontages and heavy foot traffic.

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