Albury Townhouse and Jones Hotel Group feel the pinch with NSW border closure

NIGHTMARE: Albury Townhouse managers Trish and Kevin Gordon have lost all but one booking for July as a result of the NSW border closure last week. Picture: MARK JESSER
NIGHTMARE: Albury Townhouse managers Trish and Kevin Gordon have lost all but one booking for July as a result of the NSW border closure last week. Picture: MARK JESSER

The managers of an Albury motel have had their July bookings wiped as a result of the NSW border closure.

Albury Townhouse leasees Trish and Kevin Gordon are effectively back to square one following the NSW government's decision to lockdown the border last week.

Mrs Gordon said they had one booking remaining at the motel for Saturday, but it is uncertain if that will remain.

"It's actually like a bad dream to tell you the honest truth. You wake up and think this isn't real, but it is," she said.

"Just before they closed the border, we had a huge influx of everyone trying to get in and out and the day it was closed, the phones rang and everybody cancelled.

"It's going back to what it was like in April. It's school holiday time so normally we'd have all the family rooms booked out for people going to the snow, on the way there and on the way back, but they were all cancelled.

"We thought we were coming out of the worst of it. It wasn't great but things were still slowly picking up, but from one day to the next it died."

Mrs Gordon has also missed out on bookings for police officers in town patrolling borders, making it a double-whammy.

"They really should share them around," she said.

"Instead of all staying at places like Mantra and Quest and they're all full and us smaller ones are empty, why don't they have 10 rooms at each of the other motels and share it around a bit?"

Jones Hotel Group owner Stephen Jones oversees Quality Resort Siesta in Lavington and Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway and admitted both have been hit.

After hosting Melbourne Storm for eight nights in May as they used Albury Sportsground as a training base due to COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria ahead of the resumption of the season, it's been slim pickings since.

"It started off with a bang, but police staying with us were working in Echuca," Mr Jones said.

"They sent them wherever they could get them, but when they finetuned it they realised there was probably motels closer to Echuca.

"I don't know how many police are in Albury, but it's nowhere near filling up."

Mr Jones regularly hosts classic car clubs travelling through the region, but has lost those guests this year.

"We had the EH Holdens, American Muscle Cars, the HSVs all got cancelled," he added.

"They have all booked for next year, which is promising."

Accommodation providers aren't expected to see a quick turnaround in business with the border closure in place for at least six weeks as Victoria continues to record huge numbers of new coronavirus cases.

This story Moteliers' 'bad dream' reality as closure bites first appeared on The Border Mail.