Resort managers retire after 15 years welcoming guests
AFTER 15 years at the helm of Byron at Byron Resort and Spa, Lyn and John Parche have retired from managing the precinct.
The resort was recently purchased by Crystalbrook from Gerry Harvey, who asked the couple of expert hoteliers to come back to Australia from the USA and set up a hotel and business conference in Byron Bay in the early 2000s.
The couple moved to Coopers Shoot in 2002, and overlooked the building of the precinct, which opened with 12 rooms on December 2004.
John Parche said the number of rooms went up to 92 rooms within 12 months, and over the years it added a conference centre for up to 200 people. It currently offers 65 permanent positions and 100 casual jobs.
"It took off very quickly, it really changed the image of Byron and suddenly people were spending more money in town," he said.,
"When we arrived, the average expenditure in town was $105 day by backpackers (...) and suddenly you had people coming to town and spending much more.
"We hired local stuff, bought local products and created opportunities for people who have been here since we got here.
"It's been a terrific journey," he said.
Lyn Parche said the resort's first ever business conference was held in February 2005.
"Ever since, we've had amazing support from the business community in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne," she said.
"From day one, the resort was very successful.
"We must also acknowledge that the Harveys put a lot of trust on us to run this place, and by supporting us they changed the face of Byron, and they have left a legacy here"
Both Lyn and John agreed that Byron Bay has become a well-known brand overseas.
"When we market, we usually had to market the destination and the venue, but most people we spoke to overseas in the UK and US have heard of Byron Bay," Mr Parche said.
"Once a French journalist said to me the French want to have a beer with an Aussie, so when we promoted the place we said 'come to Byron Bay, meet an Aussie, have a beer with them, enjoy the Aussie lifestyle.'
"I believe that Byron Bay is ever Aussie's DNA.
"If you speak to any Aussie, somehow what Byron represents to the rest of Australia is what we are all looking for: the freedom, the health, wellness, the sense of fun, the interesting people who live here who make such a diverse community," she added.
The Parches will travel to the UK for an extended holiday, to return to their Byron home to complete John's book and work on a number of projects the hotel experts are already looking forward to participate in.