A BIG4 effort for Easter
Powered sites back on line at park
THE Whitsundays no longer has a shortage of accommodation for campers due to Cyclone Debbie – and all thanks to the hard work of the McKinnon family and staff at BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday resort.
Owner Greg McKinnon said he had been able to open some of the powered sites on Monday and was working towards opening more.
“Absolutely; we are open today and it starts to show we can come back from huge devastation,” he said.
“The town needs every bit of money we can get in and (we can) thank our lucky stars that we didn’t get absolutely creamed – but at end of day we are here to make the merry-go-round keep going.
“My 34 staff depend on this business and there are other businesses depending on us to keep going.
“We all need each other.” Mr McKinnon said power was restored to the popular BIG4 on Sunday and they had been able to attend to any safety issues.
He said the place wasn’t fully open and they hadn’t been accepting bookings until April 18, “but when people don’t have anywhere to stay we aren’t too concerned about ourselves – (we just ) wanted to make sure we could cater for the odd tourist and help the town recover,” he said.
With 30 people now staying at the facility as of this week, Mr McKinnon said they had dropped the price to accommodate them.
“Obviously it’s Easter holidays at the moment, but we’re not too concerned,” he said.
“It won’t be Easter like it normally is, Easter rates went out the door so we are offering off-peak prices to get people in and get town together.
“The strength of our little town – you can feel everyone getting extremely tired, but when you see our tours come back on line and our food back on shelves – and we only got power yesterday... “we will come back bigger and brighter and this has brought the community closer.”
Mr McKinnon said between 200 and 300 truckloads of vegetation had been removed from the site, and described it as “massive”.
“We’ve got 30% of vegetation all gone but it was our staff who really gave an enormous effort to get us up to the point where we can offer these sites,” he said.
“Without them and Airlie earthworks, we wouldn’t have gotten near opening.”
And on the bright side, Mr McKinnon said without as much vegetation “we will have a lot more sun in our sites”.
“The pool is up and running, they are all sitting around there at the moment, so that’s a huge plus, and the internet which is up and running,” Mr McKinnon said.
“We haven’t got our activity program up yet, that will be the 18th and that’s our signal we are 100% back to where we were.”
OPEN FOR EASTER: BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort co-owner Greg McKinnon welcomed tourists to take up one of their powered sites now available.
TEMPORARY BASE: Shane Hosking and Ellyott Allan set up camp while accommodation was limited.