Newmarket Hotel reopens for guests after million dollar renovation
GUESTS are once again being welcomed into the historic Newmarket Hotel, with the newly renovated building now open via AirBnB sparking a push for the “next generation” of the city.
The Flinders St pub was purchased by Sydney-based syndicate Leisure Investments North Queensland (LINQ) in September 2017 for just under $1 million.
Project manager Richard Mraz said nearly $1 million had been poured into renovations so far, completely transforming the hotel portion into “Hampton-style accommodation”.
“We’ve done that because we want it to be a boutique hotel with classy accommodation and eventually have really nice food and drinks to take the hotel into the next generation of hotels, rather than being a place where people go to get drunk,” he said.
“Just recently in the last two weeks we decided we would open up the rooms over Airbnb … as soon as we put it up we booked out all 15 bedrooms.”
Mr Mraz said he can control most of the hotel’s operations via his phone, with all transactions occurring through AirBnB and no cash changing hands.
The two-and-a-half tonnes of solar panels installed on the roof means the hotel currently doesn’t have a power bill.
The reopened hotel is pumping activity into the local area, including an arrangement with Cafe Nova across the road to cater to guests while the pub section of the Newmarket remains closed.
Mr Mraz said at this stage an interested operator would just need to “rock up with their beer and a till”.
Of Townsville’s economic status, Mr Mraz said he was “very hopeful”. “I drove from Sydney to Cairns, all along the coast looking for this (Newmarket Hotel),” he said.
“The Government is not going to let Townsville fail.
“Of all the towns, I looked in Bundaberg, I met with town planners in Cairns, and nothing presented itself over the next two or three years as good as Townsville.”
The Newmarket Hotel was relisted on the real estate market in April.