By ERWIN CHLANDA
Tourism investment money is flooding into The Centre with two resorts in picturesque country changing hands, and the multi-prizewinning MacDonnell Range tourist park in The Alice being sold by the pioneering Heenan family.
The G’day Group, which has nearly 300 properties around the nation, snapped up Glen Helen and King’s Canyon for $13m and $19m, respectively, and will spend about $20m on upgrades, according to a spokeswoman.
Sales negotiations for the park, which grew out of a family-run market garden in the 1960s, are still confidential, says Brendan Heenan.
However, the News understands the likely buyer is also the G’day Group.
Mr Heenan held together the large business during the onslaught of the Coronavirus last year when the 400 sites, including 52 cabins, were usually home for 1000 to 1400 people every night.
Last year they had 88 occupants when we took this photo.
G’day Group, “Australia’s largest regional accommodation group,” says under consideration for its development in The Centre are glamping tents, modern cabins, an infinity pool and a restaurant with a viewing deck that looks over Glen Helen Gorge.
The resort in the West MacDonnells has a chequered history, starting as a cattle station homestead. Over the years its ownership included local traditional owners.
Room rates are now in excess of $200.
“The G’day Group is currently recruiting for hospitality staff with the property employing around 20 people, with an extra 80 jobs created during the construction period in 2023,” says CEO Grant Wilckens.
“Where possible we will employ locals and contract local businesses.
“Glen Helen is the only accommodation in the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park.”
There is currently a bushfire burning in
the King’s Canyon / Warrtarka national park.
Access to the resort is closed but there are no injuries.
Details are likely to be disclosed this morning by Parks & Wildlife.
PHOTOS at top: Mt Sonder, north of Glen Helen; Garden of Eden, near King’s Canyon.