When bushfires broke out in East Gippsland, bookings to one heritage B&B property in Walhalla were doused – more than 150km away.
The colonial gold mining town is located more than two hours’ drive east of the fire-front and two hours’ drive from Melbourne in the region of Gippsland.
“We were impacted by association,’’ a co-owner says.
“When East Gippsland had its fires, we didn’t get a booking for most of January.’’
(Ironically, the property has survived floods and fires in the township of Walhalla during the years.)
The owners still suffer from the impact with no funds to market their B&B business and unable to make an insurance claim because the property was not damaged by fire.
The couple took over the picturesque 1890-built property in October 2019 and are restoring the house, classified “A’’ by the National Trust, back to its former glory and currently operating it as a 5-bedroom B&B.
A separate 3-bedroom residence operates as self-catered accommodation.
“We’d been eyeing this house off since the eighties,’’ the owner says. “We love old houses and we thought we had one more renovation left in us.”
“We’re just passionate about doing up old houses and hunting down antiques.’’
The small business are in need of logo design and a brochure to help herd the many visitors to the region.
Long-term, she was also in need of marketing/advertising advice on how best to promote the business.