Junee's newest publicans are only halfway through their initial renovations, but are already finding themselves booked out.
Brendon and Emma Reynolds, whose last project at Tarcutta saw that community's only pub get a much-awaited makeover before it changed hands again earlier this year, have found demand is coming from all directions.
The Junee Hotel is undergoing a major renovation has had all of its 30 hotel rooms booked out, some of which are still incomplete due to high demand.
Mr Reynolds said they are receiving bookings for weekends because there was a shortage of beds in Wagga hotels and motels.
"There's a lot of people now coming through from Melbourne to Brisbane that are traveling up inland, opposed to traveling up the expressway, up the Hume Highway," Mr Reynolds said.
"And it's a good opportunity to stop, rest halfway between Melbourne and northern NSW."
Mr Reynolds said that the renovations are set to be completed in early 2024 with 50 per cent of the renovation completed so far.
"We decided to venture into renovating the rooms, giving them a fresh coat of paint, new carpet, new curtains, a good deep clean and turning them back into traditional pub hotel rooms," Mr Reynolds said.
"So it's been fairly laborious and hard, working long nights, but we're slowly getting there."
The increase in demand is due to a rise in tourism in the Riverina with popular tourist attractions like the Canola Trail, Mrs Reynolds believes.
"After COVID, we have also people who have been telling us they want to get out of the city and go exploring," Ms Reynolds said.
"I think that has really helped people in general be happy and be outside and then, explore our backyard, which is nice."
They are also of the view demand for hotels is set to surge due to the arrival of the Inland Rail and the cost of living crisis making people leave the metropolitan cities for the regions.
Mr Reynolds believes that the Inland Rail is set to bring more workers to stay and the large emigration of people leaving the city to the regions is set to make towns like Junee, Coolamon and Temora grow.
"It was an opportunity for us to take that next step and grow a business, establish a good wholesale business and an environment for family and friends to come and enjoy themselves," Mr Reynolds said.