The man who paid £36 for a dive-resort

archive – Diving News

The man who paid £36 for a dive-resort

A 26-year-old Australian accountant has bought a profitable dive-resort on the Pacific island of Kosrae – for the price of Aus $64, or about £36!

Divernet carried the announcement of the unusual online raffle for the resort on 27 April and now, after a reported 75,485 bids for the prize, winner Josh Ptasznyk from Wollongong in New South Wales is set to take possession.

Ptasznyk and a friend, Nicholas Saravanja, believed the odds to be good and paid Aus $64 each for three tickets between them, only to beat tens of thousands of other hopefuls from 150 countries. He has yet to decide whether or not to move permanently to the remote Micronesian island, which is a tricky 16-hour journey from his home.

Australian couple Doug & Sally Beitz had run Kosrae Nautilus Resort and Nautilus Scuba Divers in Micronesia for 21 years, but came up with their unusual evacuation plan after deciding that they wished to rejoin their family in Australia.

They had declared the business to be profitable and debt-free, with US $10,000 cash in its bank account. The resort, located on a three-acre site, consists of 16 hotel rooms, a four-bedroom manager’s residence and two self-contained apartments, all air-conditioned and fully furnished.

There are two dive-boats, a private beach and pool, solar-power system, a restaurant seating 80 (with at least $5000-worth of food), five rental cars, two minibuses and a pick-up – plus a long-term staff of 16.

“We’ve had our time in the sun and enjoyed a career most people would never even dare dream about… we feel like a new chapter in our lives is beginning, and we’re ready to pass the baton to someone else,” said Doug Beitz.

The couple hoped to attract “someone who has dreamed of island life and who will continue to respect the island's precious ecosystem, not simply the person with the deepest pockets”, they had told a radio station.

They will now be leaving cheered by proceeds of a reported $4 million from the heavily subscribed-to sweep which, towards the deadline day in late July, for a time threatened to crash the website.

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