By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
In its efforts to continue divesting ‘non-core’ hotels, Lantern Hotels intends to sell the Courthouse Hotel in Cairns to Pelathon Pub Fund.
With a sale price of $6.25 million – a 28 per cent premium of the hotel’s book value as at 31 December 2015 – Lantern and Pelathon have exchanged contracts for the North Queensland pub.
The purchase is expected to be finalised in October, once liquor and gaming approvals from the Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation are concluded.
For Pelathon’s managing director, Jaz Mooney, the Courthouse Hotel’s potential as a reactivation of the historical precinct of Cairns, was a prospect too good to pass up.
“The Courthouse Hotel is right beside the Cairns Regional Gallery, downtown in what is really the historical centre of Cairns. It’s our belief that the Courthouse is the centre of the Cairns community and that the whole area should be activated for both locals and tourists in the area.”
Mooney suggested that Pelathon is actively engaging with both the local community and Council in an effort to ensure that the offering will revitalise the esplanade precinct, where the pub is situated among other historic attractions.
“There’s too much history to be lost in these old buildings, unless someone gets together with the Council, the local community groups and actually activates that whole precinct to tell the historical story that it richly deserves.”
As part of the pub fund, Pelathon is always looking for new assets, with the current focus on venues within New South Wales and Queensland.
“We’ll always be actively looking for venues that a) can make us a good capital return and b) a good return to investors, which is always important to us,” stated Mooney.
Pelathon is also currently redeveloping its Brisbane pub, the Grand Central Hotel.