Tumbarumba Caravan Park sees high occupancy

The Tumbarumba Caravan Park has returned an operating profit for 2019-20 of just over $18,000, not accounting for depreciation or corporate overheads. 

When depreciation is factored into the budget, the park made a loss of $48,361.

The Tumbarumba Caravan Park was previously operated under a lease agreement with a private operator, but when the lease expired in 2019, Snowy Valleys Council assumed that responsibility, starting July 1, 2019.

In reviewing the results of SVC’s first year operating the park, Executive Director of Community and Corporate Paul Holton noted that there were a number of one-off expenses in late 2019 to get the park ready for reopening under the council’s ownership. He said those costs will be lower in future years, and he anticipated finding “further efficiencies” in the management structure of the park in the years ahead.

Snowy Valleys Councillors received the report during their ordinary meeting on September 17, with Councillor Cor Smit saying it was “a great result”.

“This is something really worth seeing, considering the pain that this issue has caused us over the last couple of years,” said Cr Smit. “It’s good to see that it’s now working and financially viable.”

Occupancy at the park has been high during the bushfire cleanup and Covid-19 operations, with a number of cleanup contractors staying at the park, along with police officers tasked to the NSW-Vic border closure relating to Covid-19.

“Income so far in the current (2020/2021) financial year is already approximately $175,00.00, this builds confidence that the Tumbarumba Caravan Park will improve its position going forward,” said Mr Holton.

Cr Geoff Pritchard questioned whether harvest workers staying at the park might bring further Covid concerns to the SVC, but Mr Holton said the park had “very robust Covid-19 procedures in place” and added there are plans for portable amenities blocks to be brought into the park as the berry season starts, to maintain the CovidSafe protocols required for accommodation facilities.

Overall, Mr Holton said income projections for the future of the park “are looking very positive,” but said time will tell.

“I think it’s probably too early to anticipate what a profit might look like, bearing in mind that the depreciation maybe wasn’t based on the full year… so there are some variables in there which will come into play,” he told the council.