The For­ras broth­ers’ Kooroora Ho­tel

Mt Buller News - - FRONT PAGE -

weeks’ ski lessons and meals in re­turn for his work.

Kooroora had a grand open­ing and quickly es­tab­lished a rep­u­ta­tion for a good time.

Con­se­quently, many of Mel­bourne’s well es­tab­lished so­ci­ety families be­gan book­ing in for week­ends and hol­i­days, thus im­me­di­ately creat­ing over­whelm­ing de­mand.

The lodge was ex­tended soon af­ter in the sum­mer of ’53-54 and in 1957 the For­ras broth­ers also de­vel­oped the Kooroora Ma­rina Mo­tel on the shores of Lake Eil­don.

Ini­tially the broth­ers ro­tated the run­ning of each es­tab­lish­ment be­fore Aurel bought out Ernest and op­er­ated it on his own.

In 1961 Kooroora burnt down and the sec­ond in­car­na­tion of the ho­tel was built and opened in 1963 (one sea­son was lost due to the build time).

This ver­sion was es­sen­tially the build­ing as we now know (and love) it.

Ernest had taken over from Aurel by this stage and de­cided to add a swim­ming pool.

De­spite the suc­cess of pools at Euro­pean ski re­sorts, this one didn’t have great ap­peal and ended up be­com­ing a home for many trout and other species of fish.

Guests were of­fered fish­ing rods and a new sport had been in­tro­duced into the Mt Buller vil­lage.

Fi­nally a ski hire was built over the pool.

From here, Kooroora changed hands a num­ber of times.

Adam Adams had come to Mt Buller in 1953 and de­vel­oped a num­ber of build­ings in­clud­ing Never Rest Lodge, Sum­mit Lodge, and re­built Arl­berg af­ter it had burnt down in 1966.

Dur­ing the 1970s Ernest had ne­go­ti­ated to sell Kooroora to Adams on two sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions but it never quite got done.

In­stead, Chi­nese in­ter­ests pur­chased the now iconic build­ing circa 1980, and Adams pur­chased it from this Chi­nese syn­di­cate in 1985.

His son Mark Adams ran the busi­ness.

In 1988, a con­sor­tium com­pris­ing John Perks and Joe Puli­tano bought it from Adams.

And Richard Paine bought it in 1994, bring­ing in part­ner An­ton Van­hoff.

With li­cens­ing laws evolv­ing, they in­creased ca­pac­ity con­sid­er­ably and Kooroora once again be­came the Mt Buller vil­lage en­ter­tain­ment hub.

In 2001, Paine sold the build­ing to the Grollo Group and leased back the ho­tel op­er­a­tions.

With the ex­piry of that lease, the op­por­tu­nity was seized by Joe Maisano who is now the cur­rent li­censee.

UP IN FLAMES: Fire rav­aged the orig­i­nal Kooroora Ho­tel in 1961.

WHERE IT ALL STARTED: The orig­i­nal Kooroora Ho­tel build­ing in 1954.

Ge­orge’s Ski Hire Mt Buller War­ren Miller En­ter­tain­ment – Dis­trib­u­tor Aus­trala­sia

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