By Andrew Starke
The Landmark Leisure Group (LLG) – owners of the Vegas Hotel and the Mansions Hotel in Kings Cross, the Oxford in Darlinghurst and the Peakhurst Inn – has been placed into receivership.
While co-owner Richard Wynne is hoping to retain control of some of the pubs, partner Tony Woodward placed blame for the group’s financial plight squarely on the 2:00am lockout laws introduced in December.
Woodward told The Sydney Morning Herald revenues had fallen by half since the controversial measures were put in place. All four of the pubs have 24-hour licences, but the restrictions prevent new customers entering the premises after 2:00am.
But industry figures have questioned Woodward’s claim that the lockout was to blame for the pubs’ financial woes, suggesting the competitive entertainment market and high debt were significant contributors.
The decision to forclose by BankWest, which is believed to be owed $90 million, to call in insolvency firm Ferrier Hodgson, reflects the lack of faith banks presently have in the NSW pub industry. Previously only small hotels with low turnovers were though to be at risk of succumbing to the economic downturn.