Decision time for $22m upgrade of major tourist destination
MULTI-MILLION dollar plans are moving forward for a major upgrade at Aanuka Beach Resort.
Plans by local architecture practice Casa Koala include a state of the art conference facility, 36 luxury hotel suites and an exclusive day spa at the Diggers Beach resort.
The lagoon conference centre and office/administration buildings will be demolished to make way for the plans. The 67 existing bures (villas) will remain.
With a project value of $22 million, Jim Booth from Casa Koala Architecture says the work represents the first meaningful investment in the local tourism market for 30 years and will provide a boost to the local economy and increased employment opportunities.
Aanuka Beach Resort first opened in December 1987 and has attracted thousands of guests from across Australia and internationally.
"The resort's reputation is unrivalled with occupancy rates having consistently averaged in excess of 85 pre cent, providing a key driver for Coffs Harbour tourism," Mr Booth said.
"Aanuka Beach Resort hosts over 200 weddings and 320 conferences per year, with an average of 60 per cent of visitors travelling to Coffs Harbour to attend.
"It is anticipated this new project will put Coffs Harbour back on the map as one of the premier tourist destinations in regional Australia by attracting new events and guests to the modern conference and wedding facilities and the luxury accommodation."
Aanuka Beach Resort is a key player in the local community, employing 120 staff and relying upon a further 80-100 service providers working within the resort to assist operations including accommodation, conferences, weddings and restaurants.
It is anticipated that once complete the new resort will require an additional 30 staff and see a 25 per cent increase in service agreements with local contractors to oversee the new operations.
"The vision for Aanuka Beach Resort is to provide a high quality, future proofed resort which will ensure the next 30 years is as a successful as the previous, and to reinforce the Coffs Coast as one of the most desirable tourist destinations on the East coast of Australia," Mr Booth said.
The Aanuka Beach Resort Development Application will be voted on by Coffs Harbour City Councillors at their next meeting on May 14.