A fire damaged community-owned hotel in the Riverland will receive a multi-million dollar refurbishment, boosting the amount of 4-star plus accommodation in the region.
The Waikerie Hotel Motel will upgrade 16 rooms to 4.5 star standards and redevelop its conference and function rooms. The $4.55 million project also includes a new outdoor dining and conference area and an 80,000 litre underground rainwater tank.
The State Government will contribute $100,000 towards the work through its Tourism Development Support Program.
Tourism Minister, Leon Bignell, said the project aligns with the SATC’s Riverland Destination Action Plan which recommends upgrading 100 existing rooms to four-star standard or higher.
“This project, with 4.5 star accommodation and upgraded conference rooms, will be a significant boost to the region’s tourism economy,” Mr Bignell said.
“Being a community-owned hotel, it is also great news for Waikerie itself, as profits are reinvested back into the hotel or used to support community programs.”
The Waikerie Hotel Motel, founded in 1911, is on the main street of Waikerie and offers 35 rooms at a three-star standard, restaurant and function rooms.
A fire in September 2011 destroyed significant parts of the hotel, requiring major renovations.
While the existing accommodation was not affected, the directors brought forward expansion plans.
Waikerie Hotel Motel manager Andrew Tyson was looking forward to the hotel being restored to its former glory after the fire.
“The upgraded accommodation, conference and dining facilities at our community owned hotel will provide a valuable asset for the Waikerie community,” Mr Tyson said.
“It will allow us to attract more visitors to the town, create employment opportunities and inject valuable tourism dollars into the Riverland economy.”
Destination Riverland chair Joan Hall said the upgrade was an important investment in the region’s tourism industry.
“The revamped hotel is going to be a great asset to the Riverland’s tourism industry and the perfect complement to our award-winning wine and food, which is already bringing a renewed interest to this special part of South Australia.”