4 April 2024

WIN sells off Scarborough Hotel days after it disposes of biggest asset in the Gong

| Zoe Cartwright
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Glenn Piper, of Epochal Hotels

Glenn Piper, of Epochal Hotels, outside the group’s newest acquisition – the historic Scarborough Hotel. Photo: Supplied.

Just days after the $70m sale of the WIN Grand City block was announced, the corporation has sold the iconic Scarborough Hotel for $9.5m.

The heritage-listed building with more than 3900 sqm of prime oceanfront land was put to market 12 months ago after being owned by WIN for 40 years.

It’s the oldest licensed premises in the City of Wollongong, at 138 years old.

The hotel operates as a successful licensed venue under a lease agreement, and was purchased by Epochal Hotels.

WIN Corporation CEO Andrew Lancaster said the Scarborough Hotel had been a strong asset for the company but WIN’s focus was growing and maintaining the organisation’s media and investment businesses.

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“Pubs are not part of our core business and it is time for a new owner to guide this iconic site into the future,” he said.

“We are happy to have sold the Scarborough Hotel to Epochal Hotels as we are passing it into safe hands with a proven track record. Epochal Hotels has a strong understanding of pubs and hospitality and we look forward to seeing what fresh ideas they bring to the hotel.”

WIN Corporation said they retained significant property holdings within the Illawarra, as well as being Australia’s largest regional television network and the largest shareholder in Nine Entertainment Co.

It has sold off a number of local assets over the past decade, however, including the Imperial Hotel at Clifton to the Shellharbour Workers Club in 2015.

Glenn Piper, CEO of Epochal Hotels, said the pub’s history was a significant part of its appeal.

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“The Scarborough Hotel stands as a rare gem among Australian pubs, boasting an expansive outdoor area, unparalleled beer garden views, and a rich and storied history,” he said.

“This is a deeply meaningful project for us; we want to deliver something truly special here, an experience that befits its spectacular location, reflects the pub’s stature and resonates deeply with the community.

“We are tremendously grateful to WIN Corporation for entrusting us with the pub’s legacy after their impressive 40-year custodianship.

“I have long loved this area and my family has a special connection to the community here; we are proud Dragon supporters as my grandad played for them.”

Glenn and his team kicked off Epochal Hotels in 2019 with the acquisition of the Harbord Hotel, Freshwater, in Sydney’s Northern Beaches region. The hotel was given a makeover before it was named the 2023 Hotel of the Year at the Australian Liquor Industry Awards.

Also in the expanding portfolio is Newcastle’s Merewether Beach Hotel, Commodore Hotel in McMahons Point, Q Station on the headland of Sydney’s Northern Beaches and Hook Island in the Whitsundays.

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