Restaurant 98 overlooks the Fitzroy River on Victoria Parade.
Restaurant 98 overlooks the Fitzroy River on Victoria Parade.

Surprise move by Rocky family to buy Motel/Restaurant 98

THE KORTE family has added an iconic riverfront business to their portfolio as Motel and Restaurant 98 exchanged hands this week.

The business lease changed hands on Monday afternoon and the Kortes are already eagerly at the helm, madly preparing plans for an extensive makeover.

Brad Korte spoke to The Morning Bulletin and said they planned on bringing the restaurant back to "its former glory".

The restaurant has been closed for renovations, with a tentative reopening in early December, pending construction.

Brad has a vision for the restaurant which includes an a la carte option indoors and cocktails and tapas out on the deck with the expansive view of the Fitzroy River.

"With the big alfresco area overlooking the river, it's something Rocky does have and we should feature," he said.

The accommodation remains open with the 28 motel rooms.

The Korte family opened Kortes Resort at Parkhurst in November 2015, with the $25m stage one including 52 resort style rooms, the Oasis Restaurant and 26.5 metre swimming pool for guests.

Brad said the family was looking to expand its network and Motel and Restaurant 98 was a perfect fit.

"We had looked at quite a few venues, we are always on the lookout for new ventures and new businesses," he said.

"There's a lot of potential in Rockhampton at the moment with the infrastructure spend and the work that is coming through the region.

"We have earmarked Rockhampton region to go through a growth period."

As the world is in the midst of an unprecedented global crisis, some people might think it's not the best time to be buying a business.

Despite this, the Kortes are confident in the Rockhampton region's ability to pull through.

"We are in a world of uncertainty … when it first happened we didn't know if we were operating one day or the next," he said.

"Realistically Rocky is a very strong city, we have a diverse pull on various industries.

"We feel very comfortable there will be continued growth and stability for this region."

Restaurant and accommodation businesses in Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast have been reporting a boom in bookings as travel opens within the state.

"Everyone from the southeast corner wants to come up here anyway," Brad said.

"If everything does get really bad again, we feel confident we will be able to pull through."

Brad assured nothing would change at Kortes Resort and the company would continue to manage both facilities under its umbrella.

Kortes Resort remains for sale however this is for the property and Kortes would retain the business lease.

There are plans to expand with more motel units at the back of the resort early next year.

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