Time to stay pos­i­tive

Chinchilla News - - NEWS - ZOE BELL zoe.bell@chin­chillanews.com.au

USU­ALLY burst­ing at the seams with trav­ellers ad­mir­ing the creek views and ready to ex­plore the south­west, the Swags­man Mo­tor Inn in Miles has ex­pe­ri­enced a tough cou­ple of months.

Hol­i­day-mak­ers have been given strict travel or­ders to stay home to help stop the spread of coro­n­avirus, which meant many busi­nesses in the West­ern Downs have ground to a halt.

Mo­tor Inn owner Tracy Gil­lon, said times had been tough since the re­stric­tions were in­tro­duced.

“The mo­tel is down 60 per cent oc­cu­pancy be­cause of the trav­el­ling re­stric­tions,” she said.

“Trade was good up un­til the day it hap­pened, and ev­ery time that phone rang it was a can­cel­la­tion.

“It’s been hard, and ev­ery­thing seemed to stop.

“Peo­ple ring up now and say, ‘Can I book a room?’ and I ask, ‘How many would you like?’.

“We have heaps of rooms.” How­ever, despite the chal­leng­ing times, Ms Gil­lon is look­ing at the pos­i­tives.

She was for­tu­nate enough to keep all her staff with some com­ing over from her sis­ter busi­ness, Ho­tel Aus­tralia in Miles, while it was closed.

Even though her book­ings are down, she is thank­ful they have not had a sin­gle night with no guests at all.

“I did ex­pect that, but that’s never hap­pened, which is a bonus.”

With the an­nounce­ment re­stric­tions were eas­ing, Ms Gil­lon is look­ing for­ward to what comes next, but it also hes­i­tant. She has been miss­ing out on guests be­cause there are fewer cars on the road; how­ever, she wants to see roads opened safely.

“I don’t want ev­ery­thing to re­open only for it have to shut again,” she said.

Pic­ture: Con­tributed

WELCOME RELIEF: After travel re­stric­tions kept clients away, the mo­tor inn is now wel­com­ing in­quiries.

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