Winchester Snaps Up Byron’s Sun Hotel


A Winchester Group-lead consortium has snapped up The Sun Hotel in Bryon Bay from the Flannery family’s KTQ Group for an undisclosed price.

The Brisbane-based group behind the The Regatta Hotel and The Normanby renovations has jumped straight into planning mode to revamp the venue at 61 Bayshore Drive, Byron Bay.

The property was put forward on an expressions of interest campaign by CBRE in late February with offers of more than $10 million in sight.

The hotel occupies a 7653sq m freehold land parcel and comprises of a full hotel licence, bistro, drive-through bottle shop, TAB and bar.

The sale comes as regional pub market continues to defy early Covid predictions with the market booming to pre-GFC levels.

Meanwhile, house prices in the celebrity-rich shire have increased 1281 per cent in the past 20 years.

Winchester Group director Shaun Dunleavy said that they were excited to once again be working in Byron Bay at a venue with strong roots.

“A change of ownership will allow an opportunity for the venue to enter the next phase of its lifecycle, reimagine itself as a family friendly environment and as one of Byron Bay’s iconic venues,” Dunleavy said.

“While being respectful to the character of the building, it’s location and the spirit of Byron Bay, everything from the branding and bars through to restaurant offering and the beer garden will be re-designed to create a customer-focused experience.

“With Byron seeing major changes in recent years, we want to create a venue with strong roots in the community, that welcomes everyone, sources suppliers locally and offers good old- fashioned value for money.”

Related: [+] Inside the Race for Eastern Australia’s Pubs

New and old owners of The Sun Hotel in Byron Bay - Winchestor Group’s Jedd Rifai and Shaun Dunleavy and KTQ Group’s Jeremy Holmes.
▲ Winchestor Group’s Jedd Rifai and Shaun Dunleavy with KTQ Group’s Jeremy Holmes.

KTQ development director Jeremy Holmes said they were pleased with the sale of the pub at Belongil Beach, which they created in 2014.

“We have really enjoyed building and operating this venue during the past six years and the community support has been great,” Holmes said.

“It’s time for another operator to take the reins and reimagine the offering. We’re pleased to see the Winchester Group step forward to do so.”

KTQ still owns the Elements of Byron Resort after buying the 20has Belongil Beach property for $18.5 million in 2009 and is also behind a $180-million development on the southern Gold Coast’s that will replace the Kirra Beach Hotel.

CBRE Hotel’s Wayne Bunz and Paul Fraser negotiated The Sun Hotel sale. They were also involved in other major transactions in the region including The Farm, The Bower Byron Bay and Crystalbrook’s Byron at Byron.

“Byron continues to be the most sought-after destination in Australia, and we continue to be inundated with enquiry for investors seeking a foothold in the northern NSW area,” Bunz said.

The Sun, near Byron Bay’s northern beach, is in a significant growth area with Habitat Precinct, The Arts and Industry Estate, Elements of Byron Resort and the North Beach Solar Train Station all nearby.


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