Home-stay backfires

CHAIRMAN of Tourism Hunter Will Creedon has a business interest in Supercar Homestays which closed shortly after it opened for trade when it was revealed it was not an official Supercars Australia partner. 

The business spruiked to East End residents they could take a holiday to “make a profit at the same time” by renting out their homes during the November Supercars event. 

On March 14 residents were letterbox dropped with pamphlets bearing the Supercars’ logo. However, Supercars said the business was not an official partner and should not be using the logo prior to formalising an agreement.

Nobbys Road resident Paul Keating said he was surprised to receive what seemed to be an official Supercars’ pamphlet given race organisers knew there was strong opposition from some residents to the race. 

“There is also the assumption we can be bought,” Mr Keating said. “This is not tourist accommodation, this is our home.”

Mr Creedon said there had been a “misunderstanding in the correspondence back and forth” between Supercars and Supercar Homestays. 

The Herald had reported one of the people behind Supercar Homestays was former University of Newcastle business student Johannes Klevstuen. However, the domain supercarhomestays.com.au and the business name Supercar Homestays are both registered to Willger Pty Ltd, a company of which Mr Creedon is the sole director. 

Mr Creedon said he had a “trading” interest in the business. The business owner has been a keen advocate of bringing the Supercars event to Newcastle and has previously claimed to have been in discussions with the state government and Supercars on behalf of Hunter Tourism since December 2015. 

While Supercar Homestays will now not launch, Mr Creedon said the episode had alerted him to a much “greater opportunity”. He will now launch a state wide, 52 week a year home-stay business.

Supercars said it would still like to see a home-stay program go ahead as it had worked well in other places where motor racing events were held. 

Some East End properties are listed on airbnb.com