CHAIRMAN of Tourism Hunter Will Creedon had a business interest in the Newcastle accommodation venture Supercar Homestays, which closed this week shortly after it opened for trade.
The business spruiked to Newcastle East End residents that they could take a holiday to “make a profit at the same time” by renting out their homes during the Supercars event in November.
Supercars Australia said during the week the homestays business was not “yet” an official partner and therefore any logos could not be used until the agreement was formalised.
A representative for Newcastle 500 event sought to clarify that position on Saturday.
The spokesman said that while the business had been granted approval to use the Supercars brand collateral, there had been a “timing issue” over the scheduling of publicity.
It had been a mutual decision not to go ahead with the venture, the event spokesman said.
Nobbys Road resident Paul Keating said he was surprised to receive what seemed to be an official Supercars pamphlet given race organisers knew that there was strong opposition to the race from some East End residents.
“This is not tourist accommodation, this is our home,” Mr Keating said.
Mr Creedon said there had been a “misunderstanding in the correspondence back and forth” between Supercars and Supercar Homestays.
Fairfax Media had reported one of the people behind Supercar Homestays was a former University of Newcastle business student, Johannes Klevstuen.
Mr Klevstuen told the Herald earlier this week that the service was on hold while he sorted out issues with Supercars and his business partners.
The domain supercarhomestays.com.au and the business name Supercar Homestays are both registered to Willger Pty Ltd, a company of which Mr Creedon is the sole director.
Mr Creedon said he had a “trading” interest.
The business owner has been a keen advocate of bringing the Supercars event to Newcastle and has previously claimed to have been in discussions with the state government and Supercars on behalf of Hunter tourism since December 2015.