In On the Market by Clyde Mooney

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The freehold concern of the thumping Oxford at Bathurst has come to market, with every angle and upside on a main road of the western capital of racing.

The original Oxford is a two-storey brick and timber tin roof classic with a front balcony over the sidewalk, built 1874.

The main public area is operated by a single bar, which also services the gaming room, with 13 EGMs in a smoking solution. At the rear of the 3,633sqm block is a large beer garden for up to 500 patrons used as a smoking area, with an auxiliary bar for peak trading periods, and parking for around 70 vehicles.

Street level also contains Medusa Nightclub, popular with the big local University population, in a purpose-built extension to the original building for up to 700 people, with booth seating and all nightclub infrastructure.

The upper floor of the Hotel currently trades as B-Town BBQ – a popular American barbeque concept serving ribs, smoked meats and burgers. This level enjoys three access stairways and full amenities, including a bar, and a function room catering for up to 400 pax.

Beside the pub is a second free-standing structure that is a bottleshop branded Cobb & Co Cellars, offering an impressive range of wines. It was the 2007 and 2008 winner of the AHA NSW’s award for Country Bottleshop of the Year.

The Oxford overlooks main thoroughfare William Street, central to the large Stockland Shopping Centre, Coles, Big W, K Mart and the Metro Cinema Complex.

Around 200 kilometres due west of Sydney, Bathurst is one of the oldest inland settlements in Australia, famous for its country hospitality and colonial history, and home to over 41,000 residents.

Unlike many regional centres, the town has a strong and diverse economy, including a large education sector, the city’s largest field of employment, counting Charles Sturt University and TAFE Western Bathurst College.

It is of course also home to Australia’s most famous motor race, the annual Bathurst series, which is as popular as ever, drawing its second-largest attendance in history in 2017, with over 200,000 people flooding the town.

The pub is diagonally opposite the huge Bathurst Panthers Leagues Club, one of the best-performing clubs in NSW, with 132 gaming machines. Despite the opportunity this provides, The Oxford has not seen focus on gaming operations and lags behind others in the precinct, although recent addition of the smoking solution and new gaming hardware has already seen uplift.

Vendor to the sale is Ash Lyons, director of Lyon Majestic Group, who also owns the Edinboro Castle Hotel just two blocks away, and is willing to on-sell its seven EGMs to a buyer at The Oxford at market rate, meaning no increase to SIA will be required.

Lyons has engaged Ray White Hotels’ Blake Edwards to market the asset, who notes upside in its food offering and potential appeal to a broader market that will bring greater trade during the week.

“With a large car park, 13 EGMs, an option to purchase seven more and plenty of room, the key fundamentals are already in place with this hotel,” suggests Edwards.

“The current operator has placed very little emphasis on gaming during his tenure, and as such a solid opportunity exists for a savvy operator to transition this asset into what could potentially be the best gaming asset in the region.”

The freehold going concern of The Oxford Bathurst is being sold via Expressions of Interest, closing Wednesday 8 August.

Oxford Hotel