Backpackers a real resort
SEVEN months and $3 million later, Coffs Harbour's latest backpacker lodgings are open for business.
The Coffs Harbour YHA Backpacker Resort in Collingwood Street at the Jetty is unashamedly big ? with 92 beds in 25 rooms ? and it also comes with a swimming pool and a movie room.
It brings to at least seven the number of places offering backpacker accommodation in the city.
"We're doing this to lift standards for backpackers in Coffs Harbour," the manager at the YHA, Graeme Diffey, said.
"We're aiming to provide quality facilities in a great location and attract visitors from both overseas and in the domestic market, as well.
"The backpacker industry across Australia is in a state of decline and I'm not sure why. It could be fears about terrorism.
"We've had the worst year in the history of backpacking in the nation, but hopefully this will kick it along.
"We're here for the guests to have a good time, but we won't stand for rubbish. We want our guests to respect the neighbours."
The existing YHA in Albany Street will take the overflow from the new facility during December and January, and after then it will be turned into student accommodation and known as Albany Lodge.
The first guests at the new resort began arriving yesterday morning, while an open day will be held on Sunday from 3pm to 7pm.
The backpacker resort also features a loungeroom and an internet cafe, guest luggage storage and lockers, a laundry, kitchen and dining areas, food storage, a coolroom and parking, while barbecues will be a regular occurrence.