At the recent 2015 North Coast Tourism Awards, North Star’s Managing Director Ian Beadel won the Individual Contribution to Tourism Award, acknowledging his outstanding contribution to tourism over many decades and his achievements in bringing more than 110,000 bed nights annually to the region.
In 1981, Ian and Diana Beadel bought the current resort site as a basic beachside camping ground, and in 1993 renamed it to North Star. That same year, Ian founded his onsite Australian Caravan Park Training School at North Star, which over the years has trained thousands of prospective park managers and employees in the fundamentals of caravan park operations and management.
From its humble beginnings, the tireless couple, Ian and Diana, have transformed North Star into a holiday haven for families, with 339 sites spread across its 24 acres and an unrivalled array of amenities for all ages. In 1996, North Star became the first 5-star rated park in New South Wales.
Over the decades, the couple have seen the face of the caravan and holiday park industry evolve dramatically and says park visitors now demand better facilities and a wider range of accommodation than ever before.
“They’re not just looking for campsites or somewhere to park the van; they expect all the facilities and activities they would find at a large holiday resort or hotel,” Ian said.
“Our philosophy has always been to provide an ‘experience’ that meets our visitors’ expectations and represents great value for money.”
The Beadels’ BIG4 North Star ‘experience’ includes an on-site café ‘Ripples Licensed Café’, free waterpark, Sammy’s Adventure Lagoon, a free Kids Club, Seascape Leisure Centre, where adults can enjoy massages, hairdressing and beauty treatments, and loads of free themed school holiday and seasonal activities throughout the year.
North Star is also home to a Marine Environment Centre, one of Australia’s finest marine study centres, visited by around 4,000 students every year.
The couple’s extensive travels, and research into emerging trends and strategies behind some of the world’s iconic holiday parks, have afforded them immense knowledge of the tourism industry that Ian gladly shares with attendees at the Training School and all his colleagues.
Ian held the position of Chair of BIG4 Holiday Parks from 1996 to 2001. Since 1997, he has been a member of the National Caravan Industry Steering Committee (CRVA), where he was responsible for the introduction of Caravan Industry Traineeships and their subsequent review every five years.
North Coast Destination Network Executive Officer, Ms Belinda Novicky said Ian’s vision, drive and passion to provide exceptionally high standard of facilities combined with unwavering professionalism has seen him set a standard amongst the industry.
“His business has accumulated a lengthy list of coveted business and tourism awards including the Australian Tourism Awards for Excellence,” said Ms Novicky.
BIG4 North Star employs 65 local people in various capacities.