Iconic Nambucca Heads Blue Dolphin Motel goes to local duo at auction

The brand new owners of the Blue Dolphin, Shannon and Paul Scott.
The brand new owners of the Blue Dolphin, Shannon and Paul Scott.

It was probably the most anticipated and biggest on-site auction this Valley has ever seen.

Around a hundred people flocked to the Blue Dolphin on Saturday to watch a piece of Nambucca Heads' history go under the hammer.

"Everyone will have a different story about the Blue Dolphin," Roberts Nambucca Real Estate's Pam Pearse said.

"It's famous for being the motel on the hill with the million dollar view.

"I remember you'd stay there to watch the bands play across the road. The Farris Brothers stayed there once when they played at the Golden Sands - that was before they became INXS."

The Roberts team and proud new owner Paul Scott (centre)

The Roberts team and proud new owner Paul Scott (centre)

The whole team from Roberts Real Estate was in attendance on Saturday, primping the property on behalf of the estate of the late Kenneth Rothe.

"Dad is probably the oldest and most experienced auctioneer in the Valley, but he stepped down to let me do this," Pam said.

It was honestly the most exciting auction I've ever been to.

Sales Consultant Adam Jones even had a bidder on the line from Sydney who he was relaying information to during the auction.

In the end, six serious bidders threw their hat into the ring.

"Bidding started at $800,000, and just took off from there," Adam said.

Property Manager Therese Shields said it was the first auction she'd ever been to where one of the bidders was barefoot - thongs in hand.

In fact, it was Mr barefoot himself who made the winning bid which was in line with the reserve price.

Local couple Shannon and Paul Scott are the proud new owners of the iconic motel.

"I actually made him iron his shirt before we left," Shannon said.

She said neither of them expected to come away as the new owners: "We are overwhelmed but happy with the result".

"And we really appreciated how excited everyone was that we won."

The staff at Roberts said they've had nothing but positive feedback from the public who are pleased the business is staying in the hands of locals.

For Shannon and Paul, the decision to buy was a no-brainer.

"It ticks every box," Paul said.

"We just love the view - it's one of the best views in the Valley," Shannon said. "And the location is fantastic - right in the centre of town. It's a perfect holiday destination."

"Our plan is to renovate it and get it back to a working business," Paul said.

The idea is to get a few rooms operational within the next six months, but they have a long-term goal for refurbishing the whole establishment back to its former glory over the next few years.

Neither of them are under any illusions about the sheer amount of work they face to get the place up and running. The Roberts team said there's been security employed day and night to keep the squatters and vandals out, but the place has deteriorated to a mere shadow of what it once once.

We've got a huge task ahead of us and people remind us on a daily basis.

But you can hear the excitement in their voices when they describe their vision of what it will eventually look like.

Shannon is keen to keep the mid-century 'Californian' aesthetic, but introduce a modern design to the interior decor.

"We want to strip it back to what it was originally before all the add-ons, so that nothing looks out of place. And we'll give it a good paint inside and out. But the inside decor will be simple, black and white," she said.

And the name will eventually be retired.

"I like the name and the history of 'The Blue Dolphin', but unfortunately it's had some bad press over the years," Paul said.

"It'll be a fresh start, and I want to choose a name that depicts the view," Shannon said.

And there are other plans too, but they're keeping them close to their chests at this juncture.

The other two properties that went to auction on Saturday - the old Max Motel block at 4 Fraser St, and the Nirvana Village Motel - are still under negotiation. But the Roberts team seems pretty confident that there'll be a for sale sign hung on both with the next few weeks.

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