When John Nixon acquired Huskisson Beach Motel in 2013 it was the beginning of seven years of investment in the region's tourist industry.
An entrepreneur with a farming background he also owns a poultry farm at Picton called Nixon's Produce Eggs and a beef cattle property at Cootamundra where he breeds Simentel.
Mr Nixon was also in real estate for five years and gained his first experience in hospitality after leaving school and managing chalets in Thredbo during the snow season.
He moved to Huskisson when he discovered Huskisson Beach Motel was for sale and has continually invested in the area ever since.
He now owns and manages accommodation with more than 100 beds in the Jervis Bay area.
His most recent development is the Sandbar located in a previously unoccupied space at Huskisson Beach Motel.
Sandbar bar serves beverages and modern Australian cuisine to customers inside and outside the motel in Hawke Street opened in December and was so new didn't qualify for JobKeeper assistance.
Mr Nixon said his biggest challenge now things are starting to pick up again after the COVID-19 lockdown is getting staff because many potential employees can earn more on JobSeeker than they can by coming to work.
But he hopes the Federal Government will keep JobKeeper because that will really help many businesses on the fire ravaged South Coast get back on their feet and create lasting employment.
Mr Nixon's investment at Huskisson Beach Motel started with the bathrooms and rooms, followed by the facade and restaurant.
The latest addition Sandbar has been particularly popular with the bar and eatery setting a record day the June long weekend just after COVID-19 restrictions eased.
"Occupancy was full and the restaurant was busy. And I think it will continue each weekend now people can travel into the regions again".
Bushfires over summer stopped Sydneysiders visiting the South Coast so Sandbar never really got a chance to take off to its full potential. But now it is proving so popular there are positions available for chefs, bar tenders, waiters, cleaners and other hospitality staff.
"We have the Huskisson Beach Resort just down the road from Sandbar. We put cabins in down there that took some time to get through even though it was a fairly basic development. We have had Huskisson Beach B&B for five years. We gutted that house and did that from scratch inside and out and put four cabins in at the back to create 10 rooms there".
Mr Nixon sees so much more potential on the South Coast but is going to settle with what he has and focus on providing the best dining and accommodation service he can until it gets easier to invest in and develop more property in the job creating visitor economy.
He would love to see a large big name hotel in each of the larger centres from Nowra to the Victorian border. And feels visitation would grow exponentially it they were located in towns such as Huskisson, Milton/Ulladulla, Batemans Bay, Narooma, Moruya, Bermagui and Bega.
He said that would bring more people with more to spend in the region and create more opportunities for tourism operators, restaurants, produce providers, youth employment and the economy as a whole.
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