A Hillside landmark is about to embark on a new era.
The Sugar Gum Hotel will undergo a $7 million re-development, which management says will bolster its services and create employment opportunities for the community.
Venue manager Claude Monaco said the re-development has been a long time coming.
“We’re 25 years old – when this place was originally built it was probably more of a country hotel than a suburban hotel … it was basically all farmland around here,” Mr Monaco said.
“Since then, suburbs have grown and we’ve simply outgrown what we have.”
A larger bistro, outdoor dining area and a new play area for children are among the slated upgrades.
Mr Monaco said the play area will be one of the largest in the southern hemisphere.
“One thing I’ve heard a lot over the years is that we need a bigger play area because the one we have is quite small,” he said.
“This one is going to be massive and it’ll also be fully interactive.
“There’ll be a theatre room, a massive talking tree and other things to keep kids entertained.”
Mr Monaco said the expanded hotel will also generate job opportunities.
“We should have over 10 new positions available once this re-development is complete,” he said. “We’ll have the capacity to hire new chefs, gaming staff and bistro staff so we’ll go out into the local community and look to employ from within.”
Work on the re-development will begin on November 14 but Mr Monaco expects the hotel to be trading heading into Christmas.
“There’s going to be a bit of a transition period … but it’ll be business as usual,” he said.
“We might have one day of closure where we move things around a bit, but apart from that there’ll be no difference in our day-to-day functioning.”