15.5 C
Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Licensed clubs face the challenge of a brave new world

Latest News

Butler Street Reserve checked for PFAS pollution

Authorities are checking the Byron Bay site for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, more commonly known as PFAS.

Other News

A hands up poll

Helena Norberg-Hodge and John Page, Byron Bay Hands up everyone who wants another high-end tourist resort in Byron: a place...

Locals call for automatic revocation of speeding fines on Hinterland Way in first half of April

When local man Nathan Hicks saw posts on Facebook about locals who had received fines they believed were incorrect he decided to look into challenging his own fine. 

Quarry comes up against the farmers of Bentley

You would need to be a pretty tough customer to come up against the Bentley farmers, yet, that is exactly what Rob and Sarah McKenzie, the operators of the Bentley Quarry, what they say is a local, family-operated business, are doing.

How much do you know about koalas?

How well do you know your koala facts? Test your knowledge at the June 2 Koala Hard Quiz in Mullumbimby.

Locals question placing homes in areas of inundation risk

It is where the community fought off Club Med and it is once again in the spotlight as the current owners, Elements, are seeking to have the zoning of the environmentally sensitive area in Bayshore Drive changed from tourism to residential

Free mental health workshop for Byron businesses

Business owners in Byron Shire are invited to attend a free 'Healthy Mindset' workshop aimed at providing them with resources and tools to improve mental health and wellbeing, as well as the opportunity to connect with other business owners.

Paul Bibby

Byron’s licensed clubs are battling to stay in the black as the region’s changing demographics and ever-increasing entertainment options erode their bottom lines.

An examination of annual reports from the Shire’s three largest clubs – Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club, Byron Bay Services Club and the Ocean Shore Country Club – reveals that all three have operated at a loss for much of the past three years.

However, Byron Bay Services Club appears to have clawed its way back into positive territory in the past 12 months.

Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club is arguably doing it toughest among the big three.

It operated at a loss in each of the past five years, recording a deficit of $184,665 in the 2018 financial year.

The club’s main revenue streams have all fallen, particularly poker machine revenue, which dropped 12 per cent during the 2018 financial year.

‘It’s definitely a challenging industry – we’re in a leisure industry competing for people’s disposable income,’ the club’s new General Manager Andrew Spice said.

‘The big challenge for us is to diversify – providing a service or facility away from the traditional areas of food, beverage and gambling. 

‘There’s been a huge shift and the clubs doing well are those who’ve looked at other options: movies, bowling, or something that’s quite non-traditional for a club.’  

The Byron Bay Services Club also recorded losses for the 2017 and 2018 financial years, as did the Ocean Shores Country Club, though the former says it managed to turn the ship around over the past 12 months.

We’ve just finished our reporting period and we’re going to show a marked turnaround in the fortunes with a good strong profit,’ the club’s General Manager Darren Schipp said.

‘We’ve realised that we have to reconnect back with our community. There’s a lot of tourists coming to town and sometimes the locals get a bit lost as everyone chases the tourist dollar.’

‘We’re trying to get back to the roots of the club by encouraging people to join, and to reconnect by taking on the sponsorship of the Byron Rams Rugby League Club.’

The region’s smaller clubs appear to have fared somewhat better.

The Bangalow Bowling Club made a small loss in 2018 (-$5,005) but was comfortably in the black the year before (+$57,228).

Byron Bay Golf Club recorded losses in 2016 and 2017, but its revenue has increased by 26 per cent in the five years to 2018.

These clubs also rely less on poker machine revenue than the larger clubs.

Gaming revenue accounted for more than 50 per cent of revenue for both the Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club and the Byron Bay Services Club in 2018.

Previous articleStone the crows
Next articleSaddle Road

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Poker machines are such a depressing downer on the vibe of these places, they are so last century! These clubs need to move into the 21st century and become more community minded less corporate and provide contemporary and affordable options for entertainment and give our community what they actually want,rather than some weird dated circa 1980’s tired old goldcoast formula.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Quarry comes up against the farmers of Bentley

You would need to be a pretty tough customer to come up against the Bentley farmers, yet, that is exactly what Rob and Sarah McKenzie, the operators of the Bentley Quarry, what they say is a local, family-operated business, are doing.

All fired up: former magistrate fumes at news of the world

How does one react to news of environmental vandalism, rampant domestic violence and mutilation of women without anger or distress?

Business calls for Tweed train tracks to be kept ignored

More than 800 people had signed a petition calling for a new rail trail to be built next to, rather than in place of, the existing disused railway line running through the shire.

Resilient communities training on offer

‘Resilience’ has become a buzzword in Australia over the past few years, as communities across the country struggle to cope with fire, floods, and a pandemic.