The investment appeal of regional NSW pubs continues with venues recently changing hands in Forbes, Wagga Wagga, and up and down the coast.

Historic central west pub, the Vandenberg Hotel in Forbes, has been sold by Grant Clifton and Kim Fetherston who have operated and lived in the venue for 19 years.

Built in the 1800’s, the Vandenberg Hotel is one of longest-standing hotels in NSW. It holds a prominent position in Forbes and sits on 930sqm of land.

JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, which managed the sale, said the swift off-market sale was “indicative of investor appetite for regional pub assets particularly for venues comprising of gaming and quality accommodation components”.

“With trading restrictions currently in place for metropolitan venues, astute hoteliers continue to diversify their portfolios with strategic regional acquisitions,” JLL said.

Harvest Hotels also added to its regional hospitality portfolio with the acquisition of the William Farrer Hotel in Wagga Wagga from the Barnhill family, who owned it for 20 years.

Director of Harvest Hotels Fraser Haughton said the hospitality group had been waiting for the right opportunity to enter the Wagga Wagga pub market.

“Wagga is a growing town, it’s economically diverse, has a great pub market and has all the services you would expect for a major regional centre. We’re thrilled,” he said.

“We want to have the best pubs in the best towns and the William Farrer Hotel is exactly that. It’s a community pub that has been run extremely well by the Barnhill family for over 20 years and we look forward to continuing the legacy.”

Harvest Hotels said it will continue to operate the venue as it is, with plans to refresh and develop the pub in the future.

The Cooee Hotel in St Georges Basin on the South Coast was sold to a consortium led by Wollongong-based property developer Daniel Kostovski for $7.75 million in a four-week on-market campaign.

“We are absolutely delighted to become a part of the local community and look forward to meeting the locals and working with the current staff,” Kostovski said.

The new owners do not plan to make any immediate large-scale changes to the hotel operation, according to HTL Property, which managed the sale.

In another coastal sale, the ocean-front North Coast hotel, Harrington Hotel, has also sold after 23 years of ownership by the Nixon family in an on-market campaign.

Hunt Hospitality, an organisation led by Stephen Hunt, was the successful purchaser. Hunt said: “We are delighted to be adding the Harrington Hotel to our growing portfolio of pubs. This asset has been in the same family for over 20 years and we are proud to be purchasing such a well-run asset with such a strong mix of revenue streams.

“As always, we look forward to tapping into the local community, as well as capitalising on such a beautiful tourist destination.”

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