A Gold Coast couple who took the plunge 18 months ago to buy a candy store are now enjoying sweet succes...
Gondolas Sail Away With Award Win
Written on the 27 October 2018 by Marshall Hall
A business which is bringing a touch of Venice to the Gold Coast canals has sailed away with a major award.
Gold Coast Gondolas, which have been a common sight on Gold Coast waterways since April 2000, have been named the winner of the Tourism, Hospitality and Events category of the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards for October.
Now owned by Michael and Taryn Sims, the business provides customers with private, luxury cruises and dining experiences for up to six people.
Mr Sims, who has owned retail businesses on the Coast for more than 10 years, said he and wife Taryn bought the business in July from her parents.
"I had been looking for a new business to buy and when the in-laws said they were thinking of selling, we were immediately interested,'' he said.
"It's a great little lifestyle business and we saw there was scope for further growth."
Mr Sims said since taking over the business operations, the couple had raised its social media presence and had increased customers by 200 per cent.
The company's fleet of gondolas has grown from one to four and the company is looking for more captains.
He said they were now set to launch a new website in the coming weeks.
"Our data shows that most of our customers are locals, who enjoy hiring the Gondolas for dinners, but our google analytics data for our website shows there is a lot of interest coming from overseas, such as China,'' he said.
"So we are now developing a new website which will translate the content into the visitors' native language."
Mr Sims said the Gold Coast, which has more waterways than Venice, was ideal for the gondolas.
"We are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place and the waterways around the city are spectacular,'' he said.
"Personally, I think there is nothing better than cruising along the river near Surfers Paradise around sunset."
Mr Sims said it was an honour to win the award.
President of the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards, Ian Cousins, said the awards honoured the achievements of the city's businesses, regardless of size.
"We have winners with four employees and we have winners with 400 employees,'' said Mr Cousins. 'The awards are about recognising excellence in all that our businesses do."
In the other categories Ezi Office Supplies claimed Retail, Wholesale and Distribution, Pivotel Satellite soared away with the Mayor's Innovation GC Award, HTG Solutions won the Student Employability Award, Synergy Resource Management secured Professions and Business Services, Master Floors Group polished off Family Business, Balense Skin cleaned up in Health and Wellbeing, Nucrush Group hammered Construction and Trades, AAC ID Solutions collected Manufacturing, Coastal Computer Medics gathered the IT and Digital Business award and Struber acquired the Emerging Business award.
The awards' major sponsors include Ramsden Lawyers, Study Gold Coast, City of Gold Coast, Regional Development Australia Gold Coast, Choice Homes, Westpac, Harvey Norman Commercial Queensland, Optus Business Centre Gold Coast, Griffith University, Gold Coast Airport, Pindara Private Hospital and The Southport Private Hospital and Flight Centre Business Travel.
The awards' media sponsors include the Gold Coast Bulletin, Nine NBN Television, 92.5 Gold FM and 90.9 Sea FM.
The GCBEA's major supporters are KPMG, Document Solutions Australia, Bloomtools, Consulting Hall, The Graphic Design Company, The Star Gold Coast, Regina King Photography, Bruce Lynton Jaguar Land Rover and Bond University.