Two of the most iconic hotels in New England are up for sale.
The Club Hotel will go to auction on site next Thursday May 19 and the Great Central Hotel has been officially on the market for $1.5 million with CRE Brokers since January, after owners Tony and Julie Hills decided to sell in August 2021.
A combination of ill health and the effects of COVID lockdown helped to inform the move for the couple , who are extremely proud of what they're achieved with the building and the business since buying it in 2015, turning it from a "pub with a dining room" into a family-friendly restaurant, cafe and bar; from a pillar of "the Aussie pub scene into the European sense of the word".
Established in 1874, it is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Glen Innes but is not heritage listed.
The Club Hotel sale is being administered by the John Parsons Hotel Group on behalf of the current owners who have held the property for six years.
Situated on the corner of Grey and Wentworth Streets, the large Edwardian building with rendered parapet, bull nose corrugated iron roof to verandah with cast iron decoration was built in 1906 and is considered the grandest and most intact historical hotel in town.
The public bar hasn't been in operation since 2019 and the business has been operating as hotel accommodation with an attached bottle shop retail tenant.
Reggie Henderson at John Parsons Hotel Group said the owners thought now was a good opportunity to be able to 'offload' the land and building as well as the bottleshop lease.
"They are trying to essentially capitalize on the growth of the area," Mr Henderson said.
"These are very exciting times to find a new owner who will give it the love and care that I think is required. It's an opportunity for somebody in the food and beverage industry to add accommodation and bottle sales to their business resume."
Neither hotel has poker machines - normally one of the biggest drawcards for out of town big investors during the recent regional pub buying boom.
So small business operators or tree changers are the most likely future owners.
In 2018 the New South Wales Government changed laws to allow small country hotels to transfer up to six poker machines without forfeiture, if the transfer resulted in the pub becoming a 'pokie-free' venue.
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