In Property by Clyde Mooney

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A Sydney-based syndicate has sold Narrabri’s big Tourist Hotel to an enterprising local set to breathe some new life into the simmering local.

Narrabri is a town of 6,000 people around 500 kilometres north-west of Sydney, best-known for its cotton industry and the Santos $3bn Narrabri Coal Seam Gas Project.

The two-storey Tourist Hotel, built in the 40s, counts a public bar, sports bar, TAB and gaming room with 15 EGMs, bistro and commercial kitchen, and 23 accommodation rooms plus a manager’s residence.

It occupies a 1,953sqm block that includes seven retail tenancies, which contribute around $90k to annual profits approaching half a million.

The syndicate determined to redirect capital back to Sydney, and after going through an unsuccessful auction process, Ray White’s Xavier Plunkett was engaged to market the Hotel, with price expectations mid- 2-million.

The resulting buyer is a local businessman with considerable real estate holdings in the area, who was looking to invest in another local operation.

“The acquisition of the Tourist Hotel is a diversification strategy for the incoming operator, who has varied interest in the wider Namoi Region, ranging from cotton farming and property to industrial assets,” offered Plunkett.

“The new owners are planning to operate the venue themselves, after a fairly extensive renovation and fire compliance upgrade on the property.”

Sale of the Tourist marks the second in the town for Plunkett, having sold the Tattersalls Hotel to veteran publican Michael Chappell in April.

“It’s desirability as a solid blue-collar pub town really comes on the back of some strong economic prospects for the region, with the ongoing Santos CSG Project and the Inland Rail Project.”