One of the NSW Riverina’s top gaming pubs, the Area Hotel in Griffith, has been been snapped up by local publican Jim Knox for about $8 million.
The two-storey pub at 208 Banna Avenue had been owned by a syndicate of local investors including Australian Hotels Association (AHA) delegate Jason Torresan and Griffith solicitor Tony Del Gigante for 15 years.
The syndicate almost almost doubled its money, having purchased the venue for $4.2 million in March 2004.
The buyer, Mr Knox, owns the 65-room Comfort Inn Gemini hotel and Gemini Sports Bar across the road at 201 Banna Avenue.
The Area Hotel, a popular live music venue, was offered for sale with 23 gaming machines and brought in annual revenues of more than $4.5 million.
It ranked as the fourth strongest gaming room within the Riverina Region, behind the Kooringal Hotel, Victoria Hotel and Gemini Hotel.
Mr Torresan said syndicate members were “extremely pleased” with the sales process and outcome.
Pub brokers Blake Edwards and Sam Handy from HTL Property handled the sale.
Mr Handy said the expressions of interest campaign had yield four offers and was sold within a week of the campaign closing.
“With strong transactional volumes of metropolitan gaming hotels over the last 24 months, the availability of stock is rapidly diminishing with metropolitan operators now looking further afield than ever before,” Mr Handy said.
The sale follows a number of regional NSW pub deals with Dubbo’s Amaroo Hotel changing hands for $9.1 million, the Ophir Tavern in Orange for $6.2 million and the Belmore Hotel in Maitland for $8.8 million.