Resort on market after summer from hell

AFTER being hit by the summer bushfires and now the coronavirus a resort in the Gold Coast hinterland with a chequered history is on the market.

Peter Huang, the owner of the 100-room Ramada Resort Kooralbyn Valley and surrounds, has put his masterplanned community on the market for sale or as a joint venture.

Mr Huang, who has pumped $30 million to $40 million into the resort since buying it in 2013 in a receivers sale, said recent events have caught up with the tourist icon.

He said the bushfires and the coronavirus, which has deeply impacted on Chinese group visitor numbers, have hurt the resort "to some degree".

"Last year we had an occupancy rate of about 44 per cent but this year it's still too early to judged but we're still surviving," Mr Huang said,

"The property has so much potential and would ideally suit a buyer who could focus on the Australian market and build it up."

The fully renovated and amalgamated iconic resort sits on a massive 1500ha with 37 lots and 30 buildings plus a number of businesses all with upside potential.

Mr Huang, who also put the resort on the market in 2017, said it was potentially a $500 million to $2 billion project depending on the master plan for 50 plus retirement and all other possibilities.

The resort was started by Sir Peter Abeles and Sir Arthur George on land bought in the 1970s. It subsequently was owned by Westpac arm AGC, a Japanese group, and then New Zealander Ray Schofield, who lost it to receivers eight years before it was bought by Mr Huang.

On top of the original resort on 324ha bought for $6.5 million during the lowest point of the GFC, another 1170ha of extra land and buildings were acquired separately in the last few years.

All properties are being offered for sale in one line or individually through a local and international tender campaign run by Mr Huang's Yong Corporate Office.

The pool at Ramada Resort Kooralbyn Valley.
The pool at Ramada Resort Kooralbyn Valley.

Recently the State Government was considering using the resort's separate Packer Lodge building as a coronavirus Isolation Centre but withdrew their plans.

The Packer Lodge is around 300m from the main resort which was built by the Japanese owner Towa Group in 1980 for $45 million as a hideaway for the rich and famous including billionaire Kerry Packer.

The resort also features a golf course, tavern international, private airport and more.

The golf course at Ramada Resort Kooralbyn Valley.
The golf course at Ramada Resort Kooralbyn Valley.

Mr Huang the strong sale of the Beach Hotel Resort Byron Bay for $104 million and the Vibe Darling Harbour for $108 million encouraged him to put the property in the market.

"It's truly the one and only corporate asset in Australia ideal for potential public listing or as an addition to a successful investor or fund manager's existing portfolio," he said.

"The Kooralbyn project has so much more potential with everything you need and dream for with far better income upside from the multiple businesses of the resort, golf course, tavern, international school and other assets.

"It has far more development profit and potential ongoing income from the massive over 50s retirement and far more capital gain potential once all the above businesses are built up over the next few years."