Cen­tral owner buys Court House Ho­tel

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

THE most fa­mous wa­ter­ing hole in Port Dou­glas has been sold for more than $12 mil­lion.

Sydney-based Hil­rok Ho­tel Group, owner of the Cen­tral Ho­tel just down the road, has bought the Court House Ho­tel on the cor­ner of Macrossan and Wharf streets.

The iconic Court House Ho­tel will join the Cen­tral Ho­tel and the Ivan­hoe of Manly Ho­tel, in Sydney, in the group’s as­sets.

New owner Tim Peter­son would not com­ment on the pur­chase of the 144-year-old pub, but it is be­lieved the price was in ex­cess of $12 mil­lion.

When asked what plans he had for the ho­tel and whether or not he would back the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil’s pro­posed en­ter­tain­ment precinct, which would al­low ho­tels and other venues to play mu­sic louder and longer, Mr Peter­son also de­clined to com­ment.

Mean­while, East Coast Ho­tels, also a Sydney-based com­pany, which sold the Court House Ho­tel, said it did not want to sell.

A spokesman for the com­pany said that its owner Peter Wadsworth was out-voted by his part­ners af­ter the price was raised be­yond $12 mil­lion.

Gra­ham Bennett, a for­mer part­ner with Mr Peter­son in own­ing a num­ber of other ho­tels, said he felt Mr Peter­son “would do the right thing by the fa­mous pub and its pa­trons”.

“I am here to help with the sale which should be set­tled within the next two months and to help put in a man­age­ment team,” Mr Bennett said.

“We also want to have a big­ger va­ri­ety of mu­si­cians and bands play­ing at the ho­tel and so we have hired a band pro­moter to help this hap­pen.

“On Sun­day nights we want to kick back with some ex­cel­lent blues be­ing played and on Fri­day nights we want to go retro with cock­tails made just for the ladies.

“The meals we serve here are al­ready bril­liant and we have great chefs who are al­ways striv­ing to put the very best food on our cus­tomers’ plates for the cheap­est price pos­si­ble - but if we can do bet­ter we will.

“I re­ally think we are in for some ex­cit­ing times ahead with Tim (Peter­son) at the wheel, he is a very savvy busi­ness­man and has been run­ning suc­cess­ful ho­tels for many years.

“The Court House will be in very good hands.”

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