The end of an era
By ADRIAN MILLER
TODAY marks the end of an era for one Yamba family.
For nearly 20 years the Mitchells have played an integral part in Yamba's tourist market, with the family owning and managing both Yamba Waters Caravan Park and the Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort.
But that comes to an end today when the family steps back from the operational side of the parks.
In October the Mitchells sold both parks to Mariner Financial Limited (MFL) in a deal worth close to $30 million. While the family still retained a 40 per cent stake in the parks, it will no longer be involved in the day-to-day running of the resorts.
Tourism company Free Spirit Resorts will take over the running of the holiday destinations, having signed an eight-year lease with MFL.
Blue Dolphin manager Dave Mitchell said today would be marked with a degree of sadness.
"We're leaving a whole lot of really good and loyal staff behind who have put in a lot of hard work," he said.
"They've got future careers with the new people, but it's with a slight tinge of sadness that we'll be severing ties with a lot of good people."
Mr Mitchell said he was looking forward to taking a break.
"To do something different was always part of the reason for selling because after 20 years you look for other challenges," he said.
"It feels good that we're looking at other opportunities and doing other things."
Yamba Waters Caravan Park manager Jo Mitchell said she was looking forward to having her first Christmas off in 15 years.
"We're definitely taking some time off to reflect, have a break, go on holidays and sometime next year we'll probably look for other things to do," she said.
Ms Mitchell said she would miss the daily interaction with staff and guests the most.
"It will be sad to leave the people," she said.