Healthy hol­i­day trad­ing

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY EMMA PRIOR

The Christ­mas New Year break saw thou­sands of peo­ple visit Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala en­joy­ing the fes­tiv­i­ties, weather and all that the twin towns have to of­fer.

Many busi­nesses once again re­ported strong trad­ing fig­ures, although mul­ti­ple days of ex­ces­sive heat saw qui­eter trad­ing for busi­nesses in the main street.

Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Tourism Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Noel Wright said of­fi­cial fig­ures hadn’t been re­turned yet but there had been a large num­ber of peo­ple come through the tourist cen­tre and many ac­com­mo­da­tion fa­cil­i­ties had been booked out.

“Christ­mas trade seems to have been pretty busy. All re­ports at the vis­i­tor cen­tre are pos­i­tive,” Mr Wright said.

“Vis­i­tor num­bers have been strong for the past 10 days or so and camp­ing by the river has been pop­u­lar again – visi­tors are tak­ing ad­van­tage of the river beaches and the prox­im­ity of those beaches to Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala dur­ing the hol­i­day pe­riod.

“This is a growth area for lo­cal tourism. The houses and units man­aged by the vis­i­tor cen­tre have been com­pletely booked ei­ther by the own­ers or other visi­tors over the past two weeks.

“Aqua­zone ap­pears to be very busy, we are ad­vised that the Far­m­gate Trail op­er­a­tors

have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing good vis­i­tor num­bers through their gates and the clubs are do­ing good num­bers dur­ing this time.

“We en­cour­age busi­nesses to take ad­van­tage of the vis­i­tor num­bers by staying open seven days and into the evening.

“We think evening trade of­fers great po­ten­tial growth for our Bel­more Street and Mel­bourne Street traders and en­cour­age re­tail­ers to ex­plore this pos­si­bil­ity to in­crease sales.

“We ex­pect the vol­ume of visi­tors will drop back from ca­pac­ity next week and peak again over the Aus­tralia Day week­end.”

Judd’s Yar­ra­wonga owner Michelle Clark said the hol­i­day pe­riod has been good for her store, but the ex­ces­sive heat has also been an is­sue.

“The Christ­mas pe­riod was re­ally good and we had plenty of peo­ple in, New Years has still been good but not as much as we’d usu­ally ex­pect,” Ms Clark said.

“The heat has been an is­sue with not as many peo­ple down the street and shop­ping.

“We ad­justed hours and opened ear­lier which worked re­ally well and we made a good num­ber of sales in that ear­lier times­lot.

“The past week­end with Clas­sic Hits Live was also a good one.”

Mul­wala WaterSki Club CEO Peter Dun­can said the 2018 Christ­mas pe­riod was great for the club and num­bers were up from last year.

“Christ­mas has been great for us and our fig­ures are up on the pre­vi­ous year which is al­ways fan­tas­tic,” Mr Dun­can said.

“Hot weather can do two things and luck­ily it drove peo­ple into the es­tab­lish­ment this year and our en­ter­tain­ment has just been great.

“The ski shows al­ways bring peo­ple in and we have had great crowds with more to come.”

Burkes Ho­tel Yar­ra­wonga owner An­drew Cur­ran said both the ho­tel and mo­tel had been very busy over the fes­tive sea­son, which was fan­tas­tic to see for the new own­ers.

“It has been bed­lam for us, re­ally busy,” Mr Cur­ran said.

“Be­ing new to this busi­ness I can’t quite com­pare it to last year but our num­bers have been fan­tas­tic, it’s ter­rific to see.

“Our ac­com­mo­da­tion was full over Christ­mas New Year but it is be­gin­ning to lighten off a bit how­ever the week­ends are still strong which is also great to see, not just for us but for the town with so many peo­ple visit­ing.”

Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Golf Club Re­sort (YMGCR) Act­ing CEO Peter Savy said the fes­tive pe­riod had been a pos­i­tive one for YMGCR with a great num­ber of peo­ple en­joy­ing their fa­cil­ity.

“Trade over the Christ­mas and New Year pe­riod has been a very pos­i­tive one here at Yar­raGolf and while fig­ures are still be­ing fi­nalised, all in­di­cate to be­ing well and truly in front of the same time in 2018,” Mr Savy said.

“We have been able to pro­vide refuge in the club­house from the ex­treme heat for our guests and visit­ing fam­i­lies to the towns both in the club­house and in the cinema.

“Keen golfers have still played the course, but with very early starts and then en­joyed a cold bev­er­age or two back in the club­house in front of the TV screens in the af­ter­noon.

“There have been many who have en­joyed the se­lec­tion of live en­ter­tain­ment pro­vided and New Year’s Eve was once again an out­stand­ing suc­cess with an in­crease in num­bers from last year.

“We have no­ticed an in­crease in fam­i­lies com­ing into the club­house too to eat, play and stay en­joy­ing the mu­sic pro­vided into the evenings. Over­all it has been a great start to 2019 at Yar­raGolf.”

ClubMul­wala was also busy with a num­ber of events held in­clud­ing the Kids Christ­mas Party, the bull ring and gone surf­ing, New Year’s Eve din­ner and show, Toby the T-Rex and a num­ber of great artists and en­ter­tain­ment.

Lo­cal po­lice also re­ported hav­ing a rea­son­ably quiet Christ­mas New Year pe­riod with only a few in­ci­dents.

“We con­ducted over seven hours of ran­dom breath test­ing over the hol­i­day pe­riod with al­most 650 driv­ers tested with no pos­i­tive tests recorded,” Mul­wala Po­lice Sergeant Grant Churchin said.

“The pa­tron­age through the clubs and pubs in Mul­wala late at night ap­peared down on pre­vi­ous years with the crowd be­ing very well be­haved.”

There was only one mi­nor as­sault in Mel­bourne Street, but the per­sons in­volved de­clined to re­port the mat­ter to po­lice.

“We were ex­tremely happy with the be­hav­iour of our visi­tors and con­tin­ues a long tra­di­tion of Mul­wala be­ing a safe place to visit,” Sergeant Churchin said.

Many visi­tors lapped up the wa­ter on the warmer days of the Christ­mas New Year hol­i­days.

Aqua­zone has been busy with many visi­tors and lo­cals alike tak­ing ad­van­tage of the warm weather and the wa­ter­park.

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