Mark and Sharon Haydon
Port Vincent Seaside Caravan Park - Mark and Sharon Haydon
Sea change proves to be the right change
When Mark and Sharon Haydon purchased Port Vincent Caravan Park they faced a daunting task.
One of two caravan parks in Yorke Peninsula’s Port Vincent, the business was far from booming – and having spent his entire working life as a farmer, Mark had no formal experience in the tourism industry.
However, Mark and Sharon embraced the challenge; three years later things have never been better for the couple and their young family.
Occupancy rates at the park are three times what they were when Mark and Sharon took over and business is continuing to grow.
“When it became clear that the drought was going to have long-term impacts on the farming industry, we decided to buy the caravan park,” Mark says. “It was something we had no experience in but it has certainly exceeded all our expectations.”
Mark says they quickly decided to transform the park to differentiate it from competition.
“We completely re-fitted all of the old cabins and built seven new ones, so the park now offers four different cabin options to cater for everyone’s needs,” he says. “We’ve also introduced other initiatives such as a ‘tradies rate’ to target tradesmen, as there’s currently a lot of construction in the area.”
Mark and Sharon and their three children live and breathe the business, with a cleaner the park’s only other employee.
“It’s been a lot of hard work and the Regional Development Board has given us a lot of help and advice,” Mark says. “We’re certainly seeing the results – including a lot of repeat business. People are coming back because they like what we offer.”