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08 July 2018 Posted by 

BRIDGECLIMB UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT

Hammons add to iconic Scenic World
RED DWYER
THESE are the proposed destinations at the ends of “a corridor of iconic visitor experiences”.


That’s the aim of the third generation of a family-run, 73-year-old tourism business operating in the Blue Mountains.
 
Harry Hammon and his sister, Isobel Ferry, established Scenic World in 1945 by leasing a former coal mine and offering rides down one of the world’s steepest railways to the depths of Jamison Valley and the Jurassic-period rainforest (295-145 million years ago) below Katoomba.
 
The latest venture of the entrepreneurial family, which has since added three other attractions to its portfolio and spent $97 million on Scenic World in recent decades, is 100 kilometres away – BridgeClimb, along with the 20-year rights to all other tourism activities on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
 
NSW Roads and Maritime Services awarded Hammons Holdings Pty Ltd the contract beating 13 “of the highest quality” bids from prominent Australian and international companies, including the current operator BridgeClimb Sydney.
 
“Hammons Holdings is a third-generation, family-owned Australian business with a 73-year proven track record in developing and operating iconic tourism attractions … their experience will ensure value for the taxpayers of NSW and a great experience for visitors to Sydney,” a RMS spokesperson said without disclosing the value of the contract to be operational from October 1.
 
“Hammons Holdings outlined a strong and clear vision for developing new climb routes, improving accessibility and introducing new technologies for a more interactive and innovative visitor experience.”
 
David Hammon, a director of Hammons Holdings, said the company plans to use new technology so that people can "experience the history of the bridge and the story of the bridge in new and exciting ways.
 
"We also see potential to link the Blue Mountains and Sydney Harbour Bridge as tourist destinations, boosting the flow of visitors from one to the other and creating economic opportunities for Western Sydney and the state in the process."
 
Plans along “a corridor of iconic visitor experiences.” include attracting visitors to the $45M Sydney Zoo, under construction in Bungarribee Park, Blacktown, in which the company is an investor.
 
David Hammon’s sister, Anthea, who jointly runs the company and is a director of WSA Co which will build the airport at Badgerys Creek, said the airport would drive the growth of tourism.
 
Entrepreneur Paul Cave AM, founder and chairman of BridgeClimb, started the business in 1989 and since then some four million people from more than 140 countries have climbed the 1331 steps to the top, said it was “the end of a wonderful era”.
 
BridgeClimb has been a lucrative business with the accounts of Otto Holdings, which controls BridgeClimb, showing it paid $17 M in dividends to its owners in the financial year 2015-16, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

 



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