- Published on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 15:55
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"When it comes to buying location this is pretty rare because it is absolute beachfront and there are not many of them around," agreed Graham and Robin Stott, management rights owners since 1 June this year of Spindrift on the Beach at Mermaid Beach on Queensland's Gold Coast.
With a string of successful hospitality and accommodation enterprises behind them, the Stotts love a challenge. A hotel, then a motel, were their first ventures into the accommodation industry at Terrigal, north of Gosford NSW. Building a wedding venue seating 120 guests was next then a restaurant seating 200. Their son, Darren trained in hospitality at the Park Hyatt Sydney and worked there for a few years.
"Our first introduction into management rights was when we went into partnership buying the Isle of Palms at the Gold Coast with about 90 apartments in the holiday pool," said Graham.
Darren moved to Queensland and managed the water sports and the surrounding grounds.
Following that was a brand new walk-up at Broadbeach, called Montago Sands.
For something completely different the Stotts bought a 110 bed backpackers in Bundaberg — mainly a working hostel supplying the workforce for local farmers with buses going out daily at 4am.
Darren stayed at the Gold Coast and worked at Turtle Beach Resort. After two years the Stotts returned to the Gold Coast and bought Surfers Tropique. Then they bought the Judicial Coffee Shop at Southport.
"After 18 months we decided to get back into management rights again and here we are at Spindrift on the Beach," beamed Graham. "We have always taken over a building that has been rather challenging at times, so the more the better. It is the reason we get out of bed every morning because we like to build it into something more than is expected."
There are 28 apartments in the whole complex of seven stories, with 21 modernised apartments in the letting pool. All apartments are two-bedroom with two bathrooms plus exquisite beach and ocean views. Some have both beach and hinterland views.
"The body corporate is very forward thinking. We are in the process of updating the complex, such as the new sign out the front with LED lights that makes the place look modern," Graham explained.
More changes include a new lift to be installed in February, the gardens overhauled and renovation around the pool area.
The pool and spa are heated all year round giving an advantage during winter because guests can relax in the heated spa or swimming pool while still on the beachfront. Guests can walk straight from the beach and jump in the pool or the spa.
Shops, restaurants and cafes are plentiful and within easy access. It is a great place for walking on the beach right up to The Spit and then almost back to Burleigh.
"We deal mainly with local businesses such as the contract cleaners and I always try to deal with the more professional end of businesses through the trades, whether it is electrician or plumbers. It is all about good service."
Management rights is heavily regulated but some other parts of the industry aren't regulated enough. For instance, a travel agency could book you and not have a trust fund. If they go bankrupt you lose everything, so you have to be careful who you are dealing with.
"Darren runs the front desk... he runs the business if you like. Robin looks after the housekeeping side of it and I am the gopher that does the maintenance and the general all over Mr Fixit. I do what I can around the place," said Graham.
"It is a real family atmosphere here because of the beach and Nobby's Beach Surf Club is two doors down. Because of the uniqueness of the place guests don't ever want to leave. The major part of our business is repeat business.
"I have been amazed at the number of whales that go past this place. I can look out at anytime almost and it would be rare if I didn't see a whale."
"It is magnificent in the morning getting up doing our chores and watching the yellow sunrise over the water — you have to pinch yourself and say 'this is work'," Graham and Robin smiled. "The fact is we have a product that people want and people enjoy and that makes getting out of bed easier."
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