Kegel Barn manager Brad Ellis and part owner Heinz Gress.
Kegel Barn manager Brad Ellis and part owner Heinz Gress. The Coffs Coast Advocate

Kegel Barn picks up tourism award

COFFS Harbour has once again proved it is one of the best spots in Australia for a holiday after scooping more tourism awards this week.

Proving that our city is top of the tourism game in the region, tourist attractions in the city have made a huge impression after taking out two awards at the 2008 Mid North Coast Tourism Awards in Port Stephens on Monday night.

While old favourite the Pet Porpoise Pool took out the Best Tourist Attraction for the Mid North Coast for the third year running, the surprise winner was the Kegel Barn, who bowled over the competition to win Best New Tourism Development for the region.

The team from the Kegel Barn were awarded the honour a year to the day after opening their doors at their South Coffs premises.

Manager Brad Ellis and part owner Heinz Gress both said it was exciting to have won, especially considering it was their first entry.

“We were hoping to win, but didn't expect to,” Mr Gress said.

“But we are the only nine-pin bowling centre in Australia, and we've been announced the most modern, too.”

Mr Ellis said the award was the beginning of something big.

“We've had 50,000 customers in our first year, and we are the only nine-pin bowling centre in Australia,” he said.

“We've got big plans for the future. You can tell when people walk in here their like 'Wow'. I think we break the mould of what a stereotypical bowling alley is.”

Pet Porpoise Pool chief executive officer Paige Sinclair said their award was a little expected but still very exciting.

“This is the third year in a row we've won the award - but you never count your chickens before they've hatched,” she said.

“We brought a team of nine down to the awards, and we're all very excited. It was a stunning night.”

Both businesses are now automatically qualified as finalists in the NSW State Tourism Awards , which take place in Sydney on November 20.



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