Inn for people not profit

Hotel now run by charitable trust to benefit community

Hotel now run by charitable trust to benefit community

Tolaga Bay Inn owner and tourism advocate Lily Stender. File photo by Paul Rickard

HISTORIC Tolaga Bay Inn is now being run on a not-for-profit basis in an effort to ensure the building is preserved and restored for the benefit of future generations. Escalating overheads had threatened the viability of a planned $1.5 million project to restore the inn but a move to establish a charitable trust will now place the inn under the guidance of trustees who hope to preserve it.

Details of the move were revealed at a public hui on Sunday and trustee Lily Stender said she had been encouraged by the amount of interest from the community.

Inn struggled to survive

“It was a great turnout for the hui, and we have to give a big ‘thank you’ to members of our community who came along to listen and participate in discussions on the future survival of the inn. We explained how operating as a normal country hotel does not generate enough income to enable a restoration project, which will cost in excess of $1.5m.

“Especially now, since the power bill has jumped from $900 per month to a whopping $1100 a week, which is literally crucifying the cash flow. The high overheads and ongoing maintenance issues from years of deterioration have also contributed to the inn’s struggle for survival.”

Ms Stender said the decision to create a charitable trust rather than sell the building meant the community could be sure the building would remain at the heart of the Tolaga Bay community.

“Our solution to transfer the inn into a charitable trust will mean the inn is no longer privately owned and it protects it from being sold, so it can become inter-generational.”

Hotel will run services beneficial to community

It means the inn must be used by the community, for the community, providing beneficial services to the community. It also means that the operations of the inn will be for charitable purposes, including on-site training, fundraising activities and business incubation services.

“Some of the other initiatives will involve provision of ‘meals on wheels’, monthly car boot sales, computer/smart phone training, an information centre, showcasing locally made arts and crafts and community dances.”

Bar, cafe and accommodation operations would be run under a social enterprise model, where all proceeds would go back into the charitable trust. The charitable trust could also apply to outside institutions for funding to help with overall restoration and preservation initiatives.

All welcome to participate

“The trust deed, vision and objectives are not for profit or personal gain. Our hui participants were supportive of our mission and did not want the inn to be sold. Many are keen to become part of a working committee to execute some of the planned initiatives. Regular meetings will be conducted and anyone is welcome to participate.”

HISTORIC Tolaga Bay Inn is now being run on a not-for-profit basis in an effort to ensure the building is preserved and restored for the benefit of future generations. Escalating overheads had threatened the viability of a planned $1.5 million project to restore the inn but a move to establish a charitable trust will now place the inn under the guidance of trustees who hope to preserve it.

Details of the move were revealed at a public hui on Sunday and trustee Lily Stender said she had been encouraged by the amount of interest from the community.

Inn struggled to survive

“It was a great turnout for the hui, and we have to give a big ‘thank you’ to members of our community who came along to listen and participate in discussions on the future survival of the inn. We explained how operating as a normal country hotel does not generate enough income to enable a restoration project, which will cost in excess of $1.5m.

“Especially now, since the power bill has jumped from $900 per month to a whopping $1100 a week, which is literally crucifying the cash flow. The high overheads and ongoing maintenance issues from years of deterioration have also contributed to the inn’s struggle for survival.”

Ms Stender said the decision to create a charitable trust rather than sell the building meant the community could be sure the building would remain at the heart of the Tolaga Bay community.

“Our solution to transfer the inn into a charitable trust will mean the inn is no longer privately owned and it protects it from being sold, so it can become inter-generational.”

Hotel will run services beneficial to community

It means the inn must be used by the community, for the community, providing beneficial services to the community. It also means that the operations of the inn will be for charitable purposes, including on-site training, fundraising activities and business incubation services.

“Some of the other initiatives will involve provision of ‘meals on wheels’, monthly car boot sales, computer/smart phone training, an information centre, showcasing locally made arts and crafts and community dances.”

Bar, cafe and accommodation operations would be run under a social enterprise model, where all proceeds would go back into the charitable trust. The charitable trust could also apply to outside institutions for funding to help with overall restoration and preservation initiatives.

All welcome to participate

“The trust deed, vision and objectives are not for profit or personal gain. Our hui participants were supportive of our mission and did not want the inn to be sold. Many are keen to become part of a working committee to execute some of the planned initiatives. Regular meetings will be conducted and anyone is welcome to participate.”

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