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Dublin: 5°C Sunday 23 January 2022

You could win a tropical island resort for €45

But good luck getting a ticket.

Image: Kosrae Nautilus Resort

DEPENDING ON YOUR luck, you could be the owner of a tropical resort on the island of Kosrae.

An Australian couple are raffling their tropical island resort at US$49 (€45) a ticket.

Instead of selling their 16-room Kosrae Nautilus Resort to a corporate bidder, they have made it the first prize in a raffle. The ticket will be drawn tomorrow.

The tropical island of Kosrae is part of the Federated States of Micronesia. It lies north of the Solomon Islands and southwest of Hawaii and is home to about 6,500 people.

The resort

The resort has 16 hotel rooms, a 70-seat restaurant, two dive boats, eight rental cars and a four-bedroom house for the manager.

The resort is debt-free and profitable and has US$10,000 cash in the business bank account.

The resort website describes beaches right outside your room, clear water, coral reefs and rainforest hikes. “Fresh fruit (is) just picked from the tree.”

Visitors can go scuba diving, kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, surfing and deep sea fishing.

There are 16 long-term staff who know how the run the place, and the Beitz’ will be staying on for a month to show the winner how to manage the resort.

“We are confident if the winner is able to listen and watch what is going on, and not make big changes over night, the staff will continue to do 95% of the work, with the new owner watching and making decisions based on my initial training and daily help from the staff,” Doug Beitz told Huffington Post Australia.

Why raffle the resort?

Doug and Sally Beitz moved to the remote Micronesian island in the 1990s, but now want to return to Australia to enjoy being grandparents. Doug is a former firefighter and Sally is a stay-at-home mum.

They decided to move to Micronesia with their two sons after watching a documentary on TV. Despite having no experience in hospitality they set up the Kosrae Nautilus Resort. They’ve run the resort for 21 years.

“We’ve tried to market it in a way where we are attracting people like ourselves,” Doug Beitz told AFP.

Doug and Sally’s son Adam said it was his idea to stage a raffle to allow someone else the chance to live in paradise and run their own business.

“Everyone has crazy ideas, this one just wouldn’t leave me alone,” he told Australia’s Channel 7 earlier this month.

The thought of selling it in a traditional way is really boring.

The raffle

So far 53,000 people from 150 countries have bought tickets. The couple stands to gain nearly €2.4 million from the raffle.

The Beitz family originally said a minimum of 50,000 tickets would need to be sold for the contest to go ahead, or else the winner would just get half of the raffle money.

The couple spent 14 months of working with solicitors and banks to make sure the raffle was legally sound.

You need to be at least 21 to buy a ticket. The winner will need to apply for a foreign investment permit in the state of Kosrae.

The ticket will be drawn randomly tomorrow, with a notary public or a justice of the peace in attendance to confirm the result.

Unfortunately the interest in the lottery is so high that the website selling tickets is down at the moment.

Additional reporting AFP 2016.

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About the author:

Elizabeth O'Malley

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