W. Short Hospitality Group has sold the Seabreeze Hotel and its adjoining commercial property holdings in South West Rocks on New South Wale’s Mid North Coast.

The hotel, which had been owned by the Short family since 2001, has been acquired by Hunter Hotel Group, which operates several venues around Newcastle and the Central Coast.

Seabreeze Hotel was sold via an EOI process led by HTL Property’s Andrew Jolliffe and Dan Dragicevich.

“Multi-generational hotel assets are uncontroversially precious items, and we are always proud to represent them and their revered owners such as the widely respected Short family,” stated Jolliffe.

Vendor Ros Short reflected warmly on the group’s ownership of the hotel.

“My entire family has enjoyed a long and favourable history with this wonderful hotel, and as such we have enjoyed our period of stewardship immensely. We wish the new owner every success and look forward to seeing the hotel and the township prosper in the way both so richly deserve.”

Paris Ballantyne, W. Short Hospitality CEO and Short family, commented on the Seabreeze Hotel’s position in the local community over the last twenty years.

“The Short family are proud to have played a positive role in the South West Rocks community for the past 2 decades.

“The hospitality that we have provided to our locals and those visiting the area has helped shape our business and we are incredibly proud of our team for building a fantastic venue with a bright future,” stated Ballantyne.

“It has been a privilege for the Short family and W Short Hospitality to be part of this beautiful seaside community and we wish the Hunter Hotel Group the success and longevity we have enjoyed.”

Seabreeze Hotel’s offering of multiple levels includes a state-of-the-art bar, restaurant, drive-through bottleshop, gaming and substantial accommodation offering; as well as additional well tenanted commercial property holdings providing the opportunity to enact upon an existing approved DA.

The hotel is also located on the coast, overlooking Horseshoe Bay and just 100m from the beach, which ensured that the sale was hotly contested.

 “Our marketing for the hotel sought to draw parallels with other beachfront institutions such as those located in Bondi, Manly or Byron Bay; and that is precisely how the market responded to the opportunity. True beachfront hotels such as the Seabreeze are emblematic of Australian surf culture in its purest form; and are unsurprisingly very rare and therefore aggressively sought after,” stated Dragicevich.

Acquirers Hunter Hotel Group add Seabreeze Hotel to a portfolio of pubs that include other coastal hotels such as Bateau Bay Hotel, Kincumber Hotel, Pippi’s at the Point and Gateshead Tavern.

First-time publican acquires Bundy pub

Further north, the Railway Hotel in Bundaberg has been sold by publican Stephen Paterson. The Railway Hotel sale also incorporates the Spotted Dog Café, Bar and Grill.

The Railway Hotel, Bundaberg.

The hotel occupies a 4,473sqm corner site fronting Perry and Hanbury Street, while the adjoining residential properties are each located on 1,012sqm sites on Perry Street. The Railway Hotel is a comprises a number of facilities including sports bar, TAB and Keno facilities, restaurant, restaurant bar, beer garden, café, gaming room with 8 EGMs with approval to operate up to 15, function room, drive-through bottleshop, detached bottleshop and accommodation.

The hotel is also a three-minute drive from Bundaberg’s town centre and adjacent to the Burnett River.

Leon Alaban of Savills Australia was entrusted with selling the hotel off-market. The hotel was acquired by a syndicate headed by first-time publican, Adrian Evans.

“The new owner has made a strategic move with the purchase of the Railway Hotel, with the asset only recently completing extensive refurbishments of the beer garden, function room and bar/bistro area. These renovations have added significant value to the property and have placed the new owner in a good position to continue capitalising on the asset,” stated Alaban.

“The new owner also recognises the added value of the hotel with its intangible asset of goodwill, which comes with a strong positive reputation and established customer loyalty.”

Railway Hotel is also expected to capitalise on the growth and development of the greater Bundaberg area, with the region becoming one of Australia’s fastest-growing tourism destinations, as well as several large long-term development projects in the area.

 “Bundaberg has a range of industries experiencing growth and the region looks set to continue that trend, with a pipeline of projects ongoing and due to be delivered over the next decade. These include a new $1.2 billion hospital scheduled for completion in 2027, the expansion of the Port of Bundaberg to transform into a competitive national port, as well as the completion of the $70 million mixed-use marina village,” stated Alaban. “The sale of the Railway Hotel highlights the market’s resilience even post the interest rate hikes throughout this year. Hotel opportunities situated on sizeable land holdings with operational upside and diverse facilities remain attractive to operators and investors.”

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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