Banana appeal

By LYNDAL GAWEN ? TO THE untrained eye Banana is easily overlooked, but to Bill Reid it has become a successful business opportunity that has "doubled the town's employment''.

Five years ago Mr Reid and his wife Anne bought the caravan park in Banana with the idea of making hotel and cabin accommodation out of it. It now employs 17 people.

"It was definitely a risk,'' Mr Reid said about the purchase.

But like all good businessmen he did his homework first and then just plain good timing came into the equation of success.

"Even though Banana is a small town (327 people according to the 2001 census), it is located on a five-way road section,'' he said.

The town is also closer to the Moura Mine than Moura is, fitting in nicely with the Reids' good timing, building the business just in time for the coal boom and a sudden need for accommodation.

The Reids' good timing continued when the shire put into action a scheme to hook the town up to the water supply from Moura.

With the water supply on, the Reids built a motel/hotel with 20 rooms, placed another six cabins on the land and built a restaurant.

Mr Reid said the motel is full five out of seven nights a week and is already 75% booked up to December.

They serve up to 100 meals a day in the restaurant, and have just received approval to install six poker machines.



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