The Laundy family has teamed up with pub baron Alistair Flower of Flower Hotels to buy Tacking Point Tavern in Port Macquarie.
The Laundy Hotel Group acquired the 6700sqm hotel adjacent the busy Lighthouse Plaza Shopping Centre on the NSW Mid North for an estimated $47 million.
The Laundys and Flowers also snapped up the Mercure Centro Hotel in Port Macquarie earlier this year for a reported $25 million as it looks to expand its North Coast portfolio.
The 4.5 star corporate hotel, located in Port Macquarie’s commercial, retail and entertainment precinct, was sold off market by HLF Pty Ltd through HTL Property.
“We recently acquired the Mercure Hotel in Port Macquarie with Alistair, and look forward to furthering our family’s relationship with him via this next exciting purchase,” said Arthur Laundy.
“We will continue to look at opportunities both in capital cities and in regional centres in order to grow our family business, and to leverage the experience and scale we’ve built over three generations.”
Peter Mattick and the family of his late business partner Phil Salter sold Tacking Point Tavern to the Laundys, just weeks after they offloaded the Port Macquarie Hotel for a NSW north coast record $57 million to an unidentified trade buyer.
“I’ve admired the successful way in which the Mattick family and their partners have conducted various successful businesses over the years, and they have been an absolute pleasure to deal with regarding this transaction,” Mr Laundy said.
The Laundys have been active on the NSW North Coast over the past year, purchasing the Lennox Hotel at Lennox Head for more than $40 million and the Illawong Hotel at Evans Head for $15 million.
“Anything north we’ll look at,” Laundy Hotel Group CEO Stu Laundy told The Australian Financial Review earlier this year. “We’ll leave the [NSW] South Coast to Justin [Hemmes]. We think the North Coast is sensational.”
North Coast tourism boom drives record pub sales
The North Coast has been the epicentre of a domestic tourism boom and sea-change movement during the pandemic.
The iconic Port Macquarie Hotel was sold to an established hotelier for $57 million last month, a record sale price for the Mid North Coast.
The pub has been the focal point for the Port Macquarie community for more than 80 years and has been sold after 11 years of ownership by HTL Property on behalf of the Taphouse Group.
“Interest in our public EOI process last month drew activity from a national investor landscape and highlighted the magnetism of multi-revenue faceted hotels in key geographical centres along Australia’s East Coast,” said HTL Property Director Sam Handy.
The results of the National Visitor Survey 2022 for the year to March 2022, released in June, show the NSW North Coast was the nation’s most visited regional destination for domestic overnight visitors after Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
NSW Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said the results were particularly positive for regional NSW.
“The last two years have been challenging for businesses in the visitor economy but they have also inspired more Australians to see their own backyard, with NSW the preferred destination of choice due to its unique and diverse tourism offering,” Ayres said.
“The NSW North Coast was the nation’s most visited destination for domestic overnight visitors after Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, with regional NSW accounting for 31% of domestic overnight visitors in regional Australia.
“Strategic investments by the NSW Government with local councils and the private sector in visitor infrastructure, transport and destination marketing mean regional NSW is now poised to attract new international visitor segments and a greater share of traditional markets.”
The latest data from the National Visitor Survey for the North Coast show $2.628 million visitors eat out or dine at a cafe during their visits, while $1.151 million visit a pub, club or disco.
Visitor expenditure was also up 11.7% in the year ending December 2021 to $4.104 million.