Who’s Who in 2022, Business: Paul Comiskey

Published 4:10am 4 December 2022

Who’s Who in 2022, Business: Paul Comiskey
Words by Moreton Daily

The Comiskey Group, started by Paul Comiskey in 1974, has announced plans to double the company’s portfolio in two years.

Plans include adding the Strathpine Hotel and Recreation Centre, Dakabin Hotel, Aura Hotel, a festival site and a distillery to its fast-growing stable.

For two decades most of the Comiskey Group’s work had been in this region, but three big projects are now underway on the Sunshine Coast.

This huge expansion program will create hundreds of new jobs doubling the family-run company’s number of employees to almost 800.

Work on Dakabin Hotel is expected to start next year when the first festivals may be held at Coochin Fields, near Caloundra and the Aura Hotel in 2024.

About Paul Comiskey

The Comiskey Group’s roots go back 48 years when Paul Comiskey launched his first venture with wife Erica - a squash fitness centre in Strathpine. 

At the time Mr Comiskey was a public servant in the stamp duties office, but the venture launched a career developing, owning and operating venues.

“My father was a workaholic,” Mr Comiskey said. “He didn’t drink very much and he never smoked, but he could work and he made us work and I didn’t like it (at the time).”
But he soon learned if you enjoy what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like hard work.
Australia’s first indoor skatepark was added to the squash centre in 1988, then both made way for Mr Comiskey’s first shopping centre. More than 15 have followed.
In 2001 Mr Comiskey and his sons Robert and David, launched Finnigan’s Chins Irish pubs, the first being in Kallangur, and three years later formed the Comiskey Group.
Together they built and operated 37 Tadpoles childcare centres, the first opened in Burpengary from 2004-2010 and then sold the businesses to Eddie Groves.
Beachmere Tavern (now Beachmere Hotel) and shopping centre was launched in 2007 and in 2011 Eatons Hill Hotel, the largest pub in the southern hemisphere, opened
The same year, land at Sandstone Point, beside the Bribie Island Bridge, was bought and in 2015 became home to the Sandstone Point Hotel.
Other developments to join the company’s portfolio include Cashmere Shopping Centre, Eatons Hill Shopping Village, Coles Buderim, BIG 4 Sandstone Point Holiday Resort and Burpengary Station Village.
Alongside major new venues such as Strathpine Hotel and Recreation Centre, the Aura Hotel and Dakabin Hotel, the Comiskey Group also plans to open The Doonan near Noosa this year and a major renovation is planned of the Samford Hotel.
Mr Comiskey says they can walk around their projects and point out aspects that were the result of an idea they each had.
“That’s what makes that building so successful. And because the age difference, I see things a lot different to these guys, but that’s the beauty of it,” he says.

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