THE Bargara Bowls Club is rolling into a new era as the Bundaberg RSL acquires the beachside business.

General manager of the Bundaberg RSL Col Rankin said the acquisition was a well-thought-out decision and a long time coming.

Mr Rankin said the RSL was going to buy the business in 2013, but when the 2013 Australia Day tornado devastated the club, the sale was pushed back around 18 months.

He said the RSL just waited in the background until it was approached by the club.

"They came and saw us recently and the process went from there," he said.

Mr Rankin said when he first started working with the RSL in 2003 there were already plans to expand to the coast.

"It was one of the things very early on that we identified that this area is where the growth would be," he said.

"It's been part of our long-term strategic plan that a presence down here is a must for us."

He said the RSL had approached the Bargara Bowls Club in 2007.

"And said that we may be coming to town, sort of thing," he said.

"And we said, if it suited them, that they might like to join us."

NEW VENTURE: RSL general manager Col Rankin and Bargara Bowls and Sports club senior duty manager Bobbi Smith inside the premises in Bargara. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
NEW VENTURE: RSL general manager Col Rankin and Bargara Bowls and Sports club senior duty manager Bobbi Smith inside the premises in Bargara. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

With the sale now signed off and official, Mr Rankin said the RSL had a lot planned for the club, including a name change.

But with any official change of hands yet to go public, Mr Rankin said he couldn't announce the name.

"It will be relevant to this area, very relevant to this area," he said.

He said the acronym RSL would not be in the name.

"And no turtles, no coral, no bunyips, none of that," he joked.

Mr Rankin said a bowls club was a different, not unusual expansion for the RSL.

"Every RSL club is standalone, but across the state, other RSLs have expanded into sporting clubs such as bowls," he said.

"As an example, the Hervey RSL has just leased the golf club at Hervey Bay."

He said renting or leasing was not a viable option for the Bundaberg RSL.

"Because if we were going to develop and drive the business, long-term we needed the rewards, we weren't going to hand it back," he said.

"We've got a business model already sorted for this.

"It involves enlarging the premises, and growing the facilities that they have here."

Mr Rankin said the club would expand out, not up.

"We can develop this clubhouse out to the carpark and just move the carpark."



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The club house sustained damage after Cyclone Oswald battered the region in 2010.