Build it and they will come
CLIFFORD Hill is certainly a survivor.
He has come out fighting after two plane crashes, two serious car accidents and an incident that saw him nearly lose his arm.
He has also survived financial ruin, losing everything in the 1980s as a result of record interest rate hikes and making some poor financial decisions that cost him dearly.
Penniless, he remembers with clarity the moment he decided to get his life back on track.
"I was living on the Gold Coast and I was so broke I would go down to Fisherman's Wharf at night with a cast net and catch fish to eat," he says laughing at the thought.
"I started taking them to a local restaurant. They would cook up the fish and provide me with drinks. It was during this time that I realised this was not how I wanted my life to be."
After extensive research, Mr Hill identified the Whitsundays as having enormous potential for growth.
He went to the bank for a loan and used that to build a spec [display] home.
This was the start he needed and he put everything he had into building his business back up, working 6-7 days a week.
"I fell in love with the Whitsundays and decided that this was where I wanted my future - and my business - to be, and that is what I have done," Mr Hill said, who has always lived in one of his own houses and still does to this day.
Twenty-one years later and having built more than 1000 homes in the area, Mr Hill feels he has done what he set out to achieve.
But he is certainly not about to stop.
He has big plans for Colony Building Group and continues to develop land in the region.
Past and present land developments have included Whitsunday Acres, Mount Whitsunday, Whitsunday Valley Views, Adelaide Point, near Bowen, and a subdivision at Hydeaway Bay.
He also owns a site next to Whitsunday Plaza Shopping Centre that already has a development approval.
BEAUTIFUL HOMES: Kate, Stuart, Erin and Riley Applegate at their Cannonvale home with Colony Homes' Clifford Hill.