Australian couple to raffle tropical island resort

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An Australian couple are raffling their tropical island resort and say they hope whoever holds the winning US$49 ticket loves warm weather.

Doug and Sally Beitz moved to the remote Micronesian island of Kosrae in the 1990s, but now want to return to Australia to enjoy being grandparents.

Instead of selling their 16-room Kosrae Nautilus Resort to a corporate bidder, they have made it the first prize in a raffle — to be drawn on Tuesday with tickets at US$49 each.

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

The former firefighter said he was hoping the winner would be “someone who likes warm weather, likes meeting new people from around the world, is adventurous”.

“It’s a big life change,” he admits of living on the tropical island, which lies north of the Solomon Islands and southwest of Hawaii and is home to about 6,500 people.

The competition website says the resort, which is popular for diving and fishing, is debt-free and profitable, and has US$10,000 cash in the business bank account.

The prize includes the manager’s four-bedroom residence, five rental cars, two 10-seater vans, a pick-up truck and the resort restaurant, it adds.

The Beitz family originally said a minimum of 50,000 tickets would need to be sold for the contest to go ahead but they removed this requirement after the raffle began attracting global interest.

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.”

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