Accommodation providers feeling lockdown pinch

Ashton Motel co-manager Marc Barba at the motel, which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 resurgence.

The NSW Government has announced another week of lockdown in Sydney, and local accommodation providers are bracing for more of the impact they are currently feeling.

Ashton Motel (Tumut) co-manager Jess Taylor said the lockdown had had a huge effect on the business.

“It’s just gone dead quiet,” she said.

She said the impact was felt straight after lockdown was first announced.

“We’ve had a lot of cancellations.”

The bulk of cancellations are from Sydney, but also from a mixture of other places.

“A lot of cancellations have come from Victoria, because they have to quarantine for 14 days when they get home,” Ms Taylor said.

The Ashton is normally full every day at this time of year.

“Now we’re three-quarters empty. We are still getting an odd booking through but it is very quiet. The extra week of lockdown will be an interesting one.

She said she and co-manager Marc Barba were just “taking it as it comes.”

“We are looking forward to the Visy shutdown (in October), that’s for sure,” she said.

Batlow Hotel has taken a huge hit since lockdown was first announced.

While the accommodation situation is stable due to contractors working in the Batlow area staying at the pub, the general mood and restrictions rising from the Sydney crisis have had a major impact.

“It has affected us very badly,” Hotel spokesperson Rebecca Adnum said.

“My word it has. When we have pizza and pasta night, we normally get smashed, but this week we did 18 bucks. Business has dropped at least 80 per cent.”

It has already had a ripple effect on the Batlow community.

Talbingo Tourist Park has also taken a big hit.

“We’ve had to cancel all our Sydney bookings,” co-owner Dianne Smith said.

These school holidays are usually a busy time at the park, but the lockdown, coupled with the continued unavailability of the Mount Selwyn ski resort, has ensured things are much more quiet.

“It’s nothing like a normal July school holidays,” Mrs Smith said.

“We had a lot of people coming up for snow play with little kids, and people sightseeing and visiting the caves, but that won’t be happening now.”  

Nimbo Fork Lodge business manager Gemma Cummins said the popular lodge has felt the impact of the Sydney Covid lockdown, but staff aren’t wallowing in despair.

“It has definitely affected us,” she said.

“Our mid-week bookings (which often come from Sydney) have been affected.”

However, the Lodge thankfully has back-up business to help absorb the impact.

“We get so much support from the local area and the rest of the Riverina,” Ms Cummins said.

“If we have cancellations on the weekend we can fill the gaps. People from Canberra have also assisted us, because they’re not in lockdown.”

As for the cancellations of mid-week bookings, the news isn’t all bad.

“People have been good; they are rescheduling their stays instead of cancelling altogether,” Ms Cummins said.