Crescent Head locals concerned new surf hotel will turn small town into next Byron Bay
The locals of a small surf town vow to fight off a wave of developers looking to turn their hidden paradise into the next trendy Byron Bay.
Every summer, an increasing number of tourists flock to the town of Crescent Head, on the north coast of New South Wales, to enjoy its famous waves and crystal clear waters.
However, locals said the visitor boom has caused people to set up camps in illegal places, litter and put too much strain on the small town’s resources.
So the prospect of a new ’boutique’ hotel springing up in the middle of the city has many on edge.
The locals of Crescent Head (above) are worried about a wave of tourists and new property developments that will turn their small town into the next Byron Bay.
Locals said an increase in summer tourists over the years has caused people to set up campsites in illegal places, litter and put too much strain on the small town’s resources (pictured, Crescent’s annual Santa Surf Head)
International fashion designer and hotelier George Gorrow, who started the Ksubi brand, said he and his wife, German model Cisco Tschurtschenthaler, will work to build a 1970s-inspired surf club hotel that reflects the Crescent Head community. .
Slated to open later this year, the hotel promises to be reminiscent of classic Australian seaside culture with a local specialist surfboard gallery, music and restaurant.
‘I love surfing. So is my wife, and Crescent Head is one of the most iconic surf breaks on the North Shore, so we’re trying to keep up with that,” Gorrow said. abc.
‘Crescent Head still feels like that place you visited as a child, it still feels so pure.’
Many Crescent Head residents said the hotel will be a great addition to the small town and help support local businesses during the off-season.
International hotelier and fashion designer George Gorrow said he and his German model wife Cisco Tschurtschenthaler (above) are to build a new ’boutique hotel’ on Crescent Head
Locals are divided on whether the development will allow the town to survive or destroy its unique identity (local commentators pictured)
Among them is Robyn Harvey, 72, a former Australian longboarder and proud Crescent Head local.
“We need tourism for the stores to survive and get through our winter, this will just cheer it up a bit,” he said.
‘We all have to learn to share and get along with each generation.’
But not all locals are convinced that the couple, who have spent the last decade living and running a successful Bali hotel, are the right person for the city.
Kempsey Shire Councilor and local resident Alexandra Wyatt said a balance needed to be found.
“I find that opinion in Crescent Head is very divided,” Cr Wyatt told ABC.
‘I’d also like to see some social equity there, so we don’t just kick everyone out who can’t afford to be there.
We cannot love these places to death.
Several disappointed residents expressed their opinions on Facebook.
“It’s not what the locals want, it’s really sad that this is going ahead and it seems the locals are only taking notice now. So much for community consultation,’ wrote one person.
Some residents said increased tourism would help businesses survive in the long-term outside of peak season, while others said new businesses would force locals to lose power (Crescent Head pictured)
“The reason I and many others love the Crescent Head for what it is is because it’s not high-end. If people want dazzling luxury, go to Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay or the Gold Coast, which may have gone bankrupt,” said another.
A third wrote: “Calling it a sleepy and kissing town, we should be happy these people come and ‘shake up’.” How many tickets do these people have? Please keep your thoughts and comments on the city and leave our ‘sleeping city’ to those who love it as it is!’
Around a quarter of local Crescent Head residents have joined an online group dedicated to monitoring the progress of new developments in the town.
Its 521 members are passionate about protecting the identity of their community, but are divided on what that identity will look like in the future.
A 521-strong group of concerned locals hold regular town hall meetings, attend council meetings and provide input on future development plans (Crescent Head pictured)
The group regularly holds town meetings, attends council meetings and offers their ideas on future development plans.
Mr. Gorrow’s surf-inspired hotel is just one of many plans locals are upset about with a separate three-story hotel, bars and cafes opening in the area with many frustrated that the new establishments will take away business ancient.
A local business owner wrote on the page: ‘Shouldn’t the council look to Byron Bay as a model of what not to do?’
‘Unfortunately the council is not working for the people who pay the fees.
“There is no infrastructure to support our community in the growth that is proposed, shame on them.”