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The Raymond Terrace Bowling Club is seeking to add a six-storey motel under its proposed $39 million renovation plan.

A development application outlining the club’s plans was lodged with the Port Stephens Council earlier this month.

Pending approval, the bowling club’s new motel will accommodate 45 rooms, five serviced apartments, a restaurant and bar on the top floor, a guest gym, a function room, a pool terrace, and a new undercover car park. 

Speaking to Club Management, Raymond Terrace Bowling Club chief executive Jason Stokes said renovation plans began three years ago when the board considered how it was going to ensure the club’s long-term viability and keep up with members and the community’s needs. 

“The club was due for an upgrade with the last major upgrade completed 13 years ago. The Club engaged EJE Architecture to assist in the development of the masterplan to upgrade our facilities and look at alternative options that had come up in our strategic planning sessions,” he said.   

“The local motels are at 100 per cent occupancy and with Newcastle Airport in the process of getting international flights, we felt the new motel would assist the community moving forward. Being located in the central part of town, the motel would also attract customers for local businesses in the area and increase the availability of the area hosting sporting events.”

In addition to the motel, the club plans to relocate its gaming area and auditorium, as well as introduce a new outdoor area with a kids area, members lounge, sports bar, and change rooms and locker facilities for bowlers. The bowling greens will also be resurfaced and a new fully enclosed indoor facility with air conditioning will be built under the proposed plans. 

“We recently won the 2023 NSW Lawn Bowls Club of the Year and see the improvements as an opportunity to host national and international events, plus ensuring our members are receiving the best facilities,” Stokes said. 

Raymond Terrace Bowling Club is centrally located to popular tourist destinations the Hunter Valley, Newcastle and Port Stephens, all of which are only a 40-minute drive. 

With the additional facilities, Stokes believes there’s an opportunity for the club to attract new customers, and to accommodate international guests, events and functions.

“We also see this as a great opportunity to grow our membership and take it from 5,000 to 10,000 over the coming years,” he said. 

He expects the local economy will benefit from the renovations, too. 

“Businesses in Raymond Terrace are doing it tough and if we can help them out by bringing more people into the CBD, that will be fantastic. In addition to this, it will assist the Port Stephens council in hosting sporting events in Raymond Terrace.”

Construction will begin once the development application is approved. The project will be completed in three stages beginning with club renovations, followed by upgrading the bowling greens and then the construction of the motel. Tendering for the construction has already begun.

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