By Phil Jarratt
Back in January, while we were getting over our hangovers and enjoying the New Year swell, with surf firing on all of Noosa’s points, and record numbers of tourists teemed along the beach and boardwalk, a couple of investors of serious intent were signing off on a deal that would turn Noosa’s short-term accommodation industry on its head.
Just two months since its listing on the Australian Securities Exchange on 27 January, Newcastle-based short term accommodation management group Alloggio announced its purchase of rental agency Accom Noosa plus management rights for the upmarket Fairshore complex on Hastings Street and Noosa International on Noosa Hill for $4.5 million.
This shopping spree overnight made Alloggio the biggest local player in the lucrative but troubled STRA market, with these 110 rooms adding to the company’s existing portfolio to give it 240 total.
While no one in Noosa even blinked, the speed and size of Alloggio’s acquisitions since its initial public offering in November – starting with Victoria’s Great Ocean Road Holidays for $8 million just days after the IPO had raised $16.5 million – had industry observers wondering how hard former pub manager Will Creedon, who founded the company in 2015, was going to push the envelope.
Since then Alloggio has acquired Coolum’s Prestige Holiday Homes to add another 37 homes to its growing room stock on the Sunshine Coast, and more than double its Australian east coast presence to more than 1700 holiday properties in just eight months.
Meanwhile, any negative noise about the Noosa acquisitions has been hosed down by the news that the $4.5 million, funded by cash reserves from the IPO, paled in comparison to the $8 million in average gross booking value that the assets have generated per year.
This week Noosa Today has learnt that Alloggio is currently finalising a partnership with a big player in the Australian surf industry to create an accommodation platform specifically targeting surfers and their families, with a launch planned for Noosa this spring. The venture is expected to further increase the size and diversity of Alloggio’s foothold on the local market.
Alloggio’s IPO last year fell way below expectations of creating market capitalisation of $45 million, which some have put down to the Omicron strain raising its ugly head in the same month, and the company’s share price has remained in the doldrums under 20 cents.
But Alloggio delivered a record first half 2022, with revenue up more than 100 per cent to $10.1 million, with guidance for the full year of $21.5 million last month upgraded to $26 million, and investment websites have tagged it as “a small cap to watch”.
Born and bred in Ireland, Will Creedon settled in Australia about 20 years ago after working in different parts of the world in the beverage industry, and worked with the Roche family, developing the popular Harrigan’s Irish Pubs chain and playing a key role in establishing the Hunter Valley Gardens hotel and tourist attraction, as well as numerous associated hospitality businesses.
In 2008 he moved to Newcastle to operate a hotel and since has owned and managed a number of successful restaurants, cafes, bars and accommodation offerings, as well as establishing numerous community events. He also found time to serve as chair of Tourism Hunter and marry Liberal Party aspirant Karen Howard, who now serves on the Alloggio board.
In 2015, Creedon founded Alloggio (Italian for accommodation) initially to cater for the burgeoning Newcastle and Hunter market but Creedon’s untamed ambition was never going to stop there, and he soon had agents scouting motels and other acquisition targets along the east coast and in key inland centres.
“It’s in our DNA to acquire,” he told Ausbiz TV last year.
As it has grown, Alloggio has developed its business model along similar lines to large international companies like Vacasa and Sonder, marketing its offerings on travel search services such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo, and Vrbo’s Australian sister brand Stayz.
Creedon is described as the “Irishman from central casting” by Newcastle business insiders, always the hale fellow well met, raising his glass and slapping backs at parties several nights a week.
But they say the jovial exterior masks a keen business brain and a willingness to take chances – lots of them.
Of his expansion into Noosa earlier this year, Creedon said: “We are delighted to expand our footprint in Noosa with the strategic acquisitions of Accom Noosa, Fairshore and Noosa International resort, offering holidaymakers a wider range of premium properties with the high standard of service they have come to expect from Alloggio.”