Sold sign finally goes up on bowls club after two years
Bowls will be replaced by caravans and motorhomes after a ‘sold’ sign finally went up on the former North Rockhampton Bowls Club site recently.
The club closed in September 2018 following financial difficulties and the property fell into the hands of the bank.
After a failed auction, the property went to market and Shane Titmarsh of Capricorn Caravan Centre was eager to put an offer in.
For the past six years, he has been looking for a new site for his business just around the corner on Queen Elizabeth Drive as it is rapidly running out of room.
The search for a new site was amplified further last year when the owners of the Queen Elizabeth Drive site advised him they were planning on building a service station at the site and his lease would not be renewed.
The sheer size of the bowls club property appealed to Mr Titmarsh, with the carpark a big drawcard.
“We want to create a facility that can accommodate the huge number of nomads that drive straight past Rocky,” he said.
“We can continue to grow here without having to purchase anything else.”
The caravan industry has grown massively in the past couple of years Mr Titmarsh said.
“It is just a big industry that is under met in Rockhampton in a big way,” he said.
“If you look at towns like Townsville, Bundaberg and Mackay, they have quite large RV caravan centres that can cater for the larger motorhomes and buses, we just don’t have that here.”
As the site has been vacant for two and a half years, the building has fallen into complete disarray and has been ruined inside due to relentless vandalism.
Chairs have been thrown at walls, copper wire removed and security cameras stolen, leaving an expensive mess.
“There is not one piece of glass left in the place, the walls are completely demolished inside, a lot of wiring damage, all of the air conditioners have been cut out or destroyed,” Mr Titmarsh said.
“There is endless amount of destruction.”
With an exit date of his current site at the end of May, Mr Titmarsh will be hard at work in the next few weeks once he takes possession of the bowls club property.
The first job will be to put up a security fence to keep the vandals out.
He plans to open the main building as a sales and spare parts centre.
“Freshen up of the building, fix up the internals and cut out a lot of the areas,” he said.
As the business expands, it will open the next section of the building up.
Pending council approvals, the original clubhouse and residence will be demolished and a workshop facility with the same footprint will be constructed.
The new workshop will allow them to have more room and to cater for vehicles up to five metres in height, like the big fifth wheelers and motorhomes.
The new facility will also allow them to employ more staff.
“We are already looking now for staff in the workshop, sales and office,” Mr Titmarsh said.