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Historic Caves House Hotel sold
Historic Caves House Hotel, sold for an undisclosed amount.

Caves House Hotel in Yallingup has been sold to hospitality operator Peter Cribb after a long campaign by receivers to find a buyer for the historic hotel.

One of the centrepieces of the South West, the 75-year-old Art Deco hotel went back on the market in January after an unsuccessful sales campaign in 2010.

Mr Cribb has extensive experience in operating regional hotel assets and has been a joint owner of Divers Tavern in Broome for the past 11 years.

Nestled between surfing breaks and just minutes from wineries, the hotel was owned by companies controlled by Tourism Council of WA president Paul King that went into receivership in 2010.

Last week's sale was brokered by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels & Hospitality Group's Aaron Desange and John Musca on behalf of Yallingup Ridge receivers KordaMentha, which has been managing the hotel since 2011.

The hotel was bought by the Cribb family's company, Surfing Community, and its licence will be controlled by a second Cribb family company, Outer Lagoon.

Mr Cribb declined to reveal the sale price.

He said some development plans were being considered.

"I do have plans to reignite Caves House and get it back to its former glory," he said. "It's in fairly good nick now but it will be a place for the locals and the tourists.

"Caves House is already famous for its functions and weddings so we will try to keep that going and we are also hoping to screen movies in the garden during summer."

The sale includes the Yallingup general store where there is already approval for extra retail development.

Mr Desange, senior vice president for investment sales, said WA regional tourism assets were likely to record better occupancy levels for the first time in three years as the Australian dollar continued to fall, resulting in a lift in domestic and international travel.

"The sale adds to a strong year for hotel transactions and investment activity in the hospitality sector across the State," Mr Desange said.

"We have witnessed a number of major landmark hotel sales in 2013 and anticipate this will continue for the remainder of the year."

Caves House has ocean views and sits on a 3.7ha freehold site with heritage-listed gardens.

It features 12 renovated guestrooms and suites, a 180-seat meeting room, guest lounge, restaurant, a manager's residence and the Long Bar and beer garden.

"KordaMentha have done an exceptional job of managing a unique asset offering tangible upsides for an experienced operator and, with its location, Caves House Hotel was always going to attract interest from astute hoteliers," Mr Musca said.

I do have plans to reignite Caves House and get it back to its former glory. " *Peter Cribb *