BUSINESS: New chapter for notorious Bay caravan park
AFTER selling for $1.7 million, one of the Fraser Coast's most controversial caravan parks is set to undergo a major rebranding.
Formerly known as Coconut Grove Caravan Park, the Kawungan business will now be known as the Bay Caravan Park.
New managers Mick and Ellen, who asked their surname to be withheld, have heard about the notorious history of the park.
Last year it made national headlines when a couple in their 60s, who were holidaying in the area to see whales, were attacked a robbed by a gang of youths wielding a hammer.
Both victims were rushed to hospital - the man bleeding from the head and the woman so terrified, she had suffered a heart attack.
Ellen said what had not been reported was that the attackers actually came from outside the park and no residents or visitors staying at Coconut Grove had been involved.
She said the poor reputation of the park was undeserved.
"Every place has its ups and downs," Ellen said.
"Everyone has been really welcoming.
"I just think people need to look and see it's not what they think it is.
"I wouldn't put myself or my husband's life in danger."
She said "small town syndrome" was behind the poor reputation of the park, but the new owners were doing everything they could to rehabilitate that image.
Soon the old Coconut Grove signage will be replaced and already new fences are being constructed.
Ellen and Mick have spent the past five years on the road managing caravan parks in Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales.
She's seen it all over the years and says the residents at the caravan park had been nothing but helpful, even helping to clear tree cuttings after maintenance work was done.
A statement released by the business said Mick and Ellen were "looking forward to the challenge of improving the park and restoring it's former reputation as one of the premier parks in Hervey Bay".
Ellen said tourists were already visiting the park and had enjoyed their stay, urging others to give the business a fair go.
She said the name change was not to try to distance the park from any previous reputation, but because the new owners had wanted to make a change.
According to the statement, the new owners were well entrenched in the farming sector on the Darling Downs and proud to diversify into accommodation sector in the Hervey Bay area.
The statement said the park had been under the care of the previous owners for more than 30 years.