BATHURST will be filled to bursting for this year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 with new figures showing short-term accommodation is all-but booked out for Race Week.
Bathurst bookings data for October 4-7 crunched by HomeAway, the new home of accommodation bookings website Stayz, found the average booking was for 3.3 nights at an average price of $499.44 a night – about double the standard rate in Bathurst.
Those bookings come on top of the anticipated 33,000 racegoers who will camp on Mount Panorama across the four days of Race Week.
More than 6000 individuals campsites have been booked, including the new The Orchard campground developed by Bathurst Regional Council at the base of the Mount.
HomeAway director of corporate and government affairs Eacham Curry said the figures proved short-term rental accommodation was helping Bathurst meet its tourist demands at the busiest time of the year.
“Holidaying in a rented holiday home is an Australian pastime that tourists have loved for generations,” Mr Curry said.
Countdown to the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000
“This new data proves that short-term rental accommodation is integral in ensuring regional areas have enough tourist accommodation. Without short-term rentals, many tourists would miss out on great Australian events, such as the Bathurst 1000.”
Bathurst resident Rob Gransden is one of the many locals to have accepted a booking at their home during Race Week.
Mr Gransden is originally from Bourke, where he converted an old house into short-term accommodation.
When he came to Bathurst he did the same to his cottage at 247 Hope Street, which was built back in 1881.
Mr Gransden said he had seen the city’s short-term accommodation market boom since his arrival in 2006.
“Being in Bathurst during Race Week is a premium. It’s like being on the Gold Coast in summer,” he said.
“As soon as the race finishes, you start getting inquiries straight away. It then dies down for a while and then the momentum picks up again in the months leading up to the race.”
Mr Gransden said he had seen an increase in inquiries for the Bathurst 12 Hour as well.
“It’s been building really well for the past four years,” he said. “We tend to get a lot of repeat business.
“We might not be the cheapest but the quality is great, the location is great and we also keep the cottage clean.”
A quick check by the Western Advocate on Friday found that most of the city’s major accommodation places – including Rydges Mount Panorama, Quality Hotel Bathurst, Gold Panner Motor Inn, NRMA Bathurst Panorama Holiday Park and Bathurst Goldfields – were all booked out for Race Week.
Just a couple of accommodation places remain available, with the asking prices now above $1000 a night.