Boom times as Cooly reclaims former fame
By YVONNE McLEAN
THE Southern Gold Coast has staked its claim as one of the main players in one of the best boom holiday seasons in years.
Naming Coolangatta as the scenic jewel of the Gold Coast bears no argument according to long-time resident and business leader, Marie Robbie, executive of Classic Holidays.
"For a considerable time, the southern Gold Coast has been creeping up in visiting popularity, reclaiming its role in the golden past era when Coolangatta was Australia's honeymoon capital," Mrs Robbie said.
"More recent resort developments were fully booked for Christmas and New Year and occupancy remains extremely high at all the accommodation places for the rest of the long holidays," she said.
"While most of the old-time holidaymakers are no longer able to hokey-pokey on the beach, we are welcoming a new generation ? a new market of those in their 30s including young families.
"I have noticed that many of them are familiar with Coolangatta of old, so the seaside town's fame is being handed down from generation to generation."
Mrs Robbie said holidaying in the border area had been enriched by resorts such as Salt and other resorts on the Tweed and, in many cases, added attractions for visitors were the historic peaceful villages close to the mountain which dominated the western skyline, Mt Warning, a walkers' challenge.
"Coolangatta, the Tweed and the nearby beaches and countryside are blossoming into full bloom this season and with more holiday resorts nearly completed, about to begin or planned, the future is rosy," she said.
"We have reclaimed our fame."
Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce president Barry McNamara, agreed with colleague Marie Robbie that the holiday dice had rolled just right for southern accommodation places.
"We're either booked out or heavily booked, and all the shops are benefiting - it's a good time all round," he said.
A buoyant season had added more impetus to Barry's early Wintersun planning ? a festival held over many years during the weekend of the Queen's Birthday holiday in June.
"This year we're out to set a world record for the most people participating in six minutes of non-stop rock 'n' roll dancing," he said.
The goal is to have 3000 rock 'n' rollers or more dancing until their shoes drop off, raising the roof of Griffith Street.
Barry McNamara's Christmas-New Year holiday has been spent blue-printing the extravaganza, and even as fully booked current holidays are reported, so too are bookings for Wintersun, the time when Coolangatta becomes the rock 'n' roll capital of the world.