Rocky motel's new lease on life after court eviction
AMBASSADOR Motel owners Michael and Jan Tyrrell were never blind to their motel's less than stellar reputation, but they were powerless to fix it. Until now.
On May 15, a Supreme Court judge evicted the leaseholder from the property after he accrued $160,000 in unpaid rates and rent.
Since then, Brisbane-based Michael and Jan have spent each day cleaning the motel and bringing it up to a new, family-friendly standard.
"We were left with a hell of a mess,” Michael said.
"We've mowed all the lawns, we've cleaned out the pool, we have painted all the outside.
"From a cleanliness viewpoint it's gone from one out of ten to probably eight out of ten.
"From an appearance viewpoint it looks as if it's been loved again.”
Michael said they got an unexpected visit from a woman who had stayed in the motel in January and, at the time, vowed to never come back.
But, having seen the new paint work, the woman did a u-turn after driving past and stayed.
Michael said the standard of the motel and visitors they hoped to attract was also heading in a new direction.
"We're trying to get it back to that whole family-style motel because it's got some terrific rooms in the sense they're all for families,” he said.
Of the 32 rooms at the motel, only five are designed specifically for solo travellers or couples, with five dedicated family suites.
Although Michael and Jan have now taken back control of the running of the motel, they have employed managers to look after the day-to-day running of the business.
However, they plan to visit Rockhampton frequently to ensure standards are maintained.
Michael said the new managers had been in the hospitality industry for about 35 years and would provide high quality service for visitors.
"It's being run as a motel should be and, more importantly, as a family motel should be,” he said.
Bookings have been improving and last week a Federal Government assistant minister stayed while visiting Rockhampton on business.
Michael was also pleased to see some Beef Australia 2018 bookings rolling in, which he said was encouraging for the businesses' new direction.