Ramada attracts the outsiders
By DAWN COHEN
SALES of the Ramada Ballina units have hit $25,566,000.
Fifty units have been sold off the plan, with non-residents accounting for most purchases.
"Traditionally, investors in Ballina have been from this post code," said Peter Carmont, principal at The Professionals in Ballina, an agent for the Ramada.
"But now we're finding more and more investors from outside the area."
The $36 million, four-star Ramada, on the corner of Fawcett and Martin streets, will open in 2006, said the developers, Slipway Property.
The US-based Ramada is one of six international brands dominating the luxury hotel market.
Eleven of the 61 units are still available.
One sale recently fell through, said Kaia Roman, spokeswoman for Slipway Properties.
Individual units can convert into two separate accommodations at the touch of a button so that owners can occupy one while renting out the other, explained managing director, Glen Stotter.
The overall development is good for the town, said acting general manager for Ballina Shire Council, Gary Faulks.
"But there won't be a rates windfall for the town because strata units will reflect land values," he said.
"It is an additional string to our tourism bow."
Barbara Sexton, from The Professionals in Byron Bay, said people from Melbourne and Sydney who normally went to the Gold Coast on holiday would be attracted to Ballina by the hotel.