BOOLARRA COMMUNITY UNITES TO BUY “THEIR” HOTEL
Boolarra is a small town located in the picturesque foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges 28 kilometres south-west of Morwell. In recent years, the town has experienced many highs and lows, ranging from being named Victorian Small Town of the Year in 2007, to being severely impacted by the 2009 bushfires.
In 2016, it was almost certain that the town’s only hotel would close. A group of locals initiated a plan to save this social hub from being lost. From Boolarra’s population of only 550 residents, in excess of 130 families and individuals purchased “units” to raise sufficient funds to ensure that the hotel would become community owned, with a focus on being a family-friendly social asset for the town.
The hotel was re-named “The Boolarra Community Hotel” to reflect the community ownership and voluntary management of the hotel. Community members and groups are provided with good value meals and drinks in a friendly and welcoming environment.
The operation of the hotel is supported by a large and enthusiastic incorporated association, the “Friends of the Boolarra Community Hotel”. This volunteer group works to help maintain the gardens and grounds, oversee maintenance work, and to raise funds for community projects.
The hotel has been reinvigorated, hosting many successful events. Among these have been monthly “Open Mic” nights, the famous “Colby’s Trivia” nights, collaboration with the Boolarra Community Development Group to host two Tom Curtain “Outback Experience” events, collaboration with the Boolarra Folk Festival as a venue for festival music, as well as “Truckin’ with Tim” and other performances on the unique outdoor stage.