FORTUNES IMPROVE: Coolum Business and Tourism President Noel Mooney in Coolum’s main street.
FORTUNES IMPROVE: Coolum Business and Tourism President Noel Mooney in Coolum’s main street. John Mccutcheon

No PGA but Coolum out of the economic rough

ALMOST two years after Coolum lost the Australian PGA, the coastal town is making a resurgence.

Pundits say the financial blow landed by the loss of the event affected the entire Sunshine Coast, possibly the only thing that saved Coolum from economic ruin.

Coolum Business and Tourism Association president Noel Mooney said local fortunes were improving, after the initial post-PGA downturn.

"It's pretty hard to get something to replace the PGA.

"It's all gone now isn't it... you can't keep crying over spilt milk," Mr Mooney said.

"A really good winter has definitely helped.

"I know for our business we've got some really good forward bookings already and as long as the weather holds out I think it should be a great summer, which we deserve after a couple of years of bad weather."

Evidence of Coolum establishing itself as one of the Coast's more popular destinations came with the announcement on Thursday of a $520,000 upgrade to Coolum Beach Holiday Park.

Councillor Jason O'Pray, whose portfolio includes tourism economic development, spoke of the enterprise that needs to continue for areas like Coolum to thrive in the future.

"First and foremost, without question it's very difficult to replace the PGA and we were incredibly disappointed to see it go," Cr O'Pray said.

"Make no mistake, that was our single best advertisement for the region... but we'll try to bring more cultural events to the region."

Cr O'Pray said council was committed to delivering events to the Sunshine Coast region, but implored places like Coolum to be proactive in trying to ensure event organisers chose their location for the event.

"We're about bringing events to the Sunshine Coast region, but we don't actually allocate the spot on the Coast where an event will be held. That's up to organisers," he said.

"Smaller groups and communities need to push to host a particular event."


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