Hotel group heads to Murrumbateman

5 February 2016

THE Canberra-based Abode hotel group is to build it’s fifth hotel and its first across the border in Murrumbateman.

A 52-room hotel is to be built at Fairley, the residential development adjacent from the village centre. Construction is expected to begin in late 2016. The Yass Valley Council says a major hotel will increase tourist accommodation in the area by 30 per cent.

The hotel, to be built by parent company Geocon, fills an accommodation gap, with no hotel between Gunghalin and Yass. Local businesses and wineries are reported to have welcomed the development, agreeing that quality and affordable accommodation is essential for tourism and the growth of the area.

Geocon MD Nick Georgalis says: ‘The hotel will feature a large, flexible foyer space and public area that can be used for a range of activities and will complement the local area. In addition to the hotel rooms, there will be some suites to accommodate larger groups, including wedding parties”’

Fairley is being built by Shaw Projects, owners of Shaw Vineyard Estate, a Murrumbateman winery. Shaw Projects has its roots in construction and a long-established reputation as a Canberra builder. The new, 100-home subdivision, named after a Murrumbateman teacher of the 1800s, will include a commercial and tourist precinct, boutique brewery, café, bakery, visitors’ centre, childcare centre, children’s park, medical services and post office.

“It will add 60 per cent more housing to the village and trigger infrastructure and commercial developments,” says principal Graeme Shaw.

Neil McGregor and Fiona Wholohan, of Yarrh Wines, say the Abode Hotel will be a major boost and the “sooner it’s built the better”.

“We get regular enquiries from visitors about where to stay in Murrumbateman and, of course, options are pretty limited,” they say.

“The hotel will make a big difference – serious food-and-wine tourists want to stay within the region and close to the vineyards and wineries, to really immerse themselves,” says Neil.

Owners of McKellar Ridge Wines, Brian and Janet Johnston, agree. ‘

“Murrumbateman Cool Climate Wine Country is becoming a ‘must visit’ wine region and having more quality accommodation and services available in the village will enable wine enthusiasts to stay and sample fine wines at the cellar doors, only a short drive away,” says Janet.

And Ken Helm, of Helm Wines, says the Abode Hotel will also add a “new dimension” for residents and businesses of the Yass Valley Shire. Day-trippers, who typically stay in Canberra because accommodation is limited, will now be able to stay in the historic area. Inevitably, tourists will boost the local economy by buying items such as petrol, wine, and specialist food.

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