The Tourism Industry Development Fund (TIDF) will assist South Australian family-owned Matthews Hospitality to champion Whyalla as the gateway to the Eyre Peninsula and support the region’s “homegrown heroes”.
The group has received a $431,250 grant towards its $1,437,500 refurbishment of the Eyre Hotel. It is the second TIDF grant Matthews Hospitality has been awarded as it embarks on two projects to upgrade tourism accommodation in regional South Australia.
The Eyre Hotel project will improve tourism infrastructure by lifting accommodation to four-star standards, incorporating works from local artists within each room and a more contemporary feel complete with interior designed bathroom facilities.
Matthews Hospitality owns a number of hotels in South Australia including the Feathers and Maylands and the recently acquired Salisbury Hotel, plus another four venues in Mt Gambier and the Eyre Hotel.
“The Eyre Hotel is the first hotel you see as you enter Whyalla from Adelaide. It has been an integral part of the community for 60 years,” CEO Andrew Kemp said.
“Whyalla is where the desert meets the sea. The upper Spencer Gulf is home to one of the most amazing natural events in Australia, the annual migration of Giant Cuttlefish.
“We want to create tourism accommodation that champions local produce, art, businesses and tourism experiences.
“The upgrade of the Eyre Hotel will feature a retail outlet called Eyre Pantry that will stock a range of local products customers can take-away.
“Whether it’s Adelaide families road-tripping across our state, adventurers signing up for a local diving tour, or interstate tourists exploring SA, we want to offer them a great accommodation experience.”
Celebrating the region’s “homegrown heroes” the hotel will host a Tasting Australia event on July 17. The Pig ‘N’ Pale American BBQ will showcase local producers with Arno Bay pulled lamb shoulder, Boston Bay slow-cooked Berkshire suckling pig and Port Lincoln’s Beer Garden Brewing.
Matthews Hospitality recently committed to investing more than $13 million into South Australian communities across regional and metropolitan South Australia, including the Eyre Hotel project.
Last month the State Government awarded Matthews Hospitality $336,740 towards its $1,122,500 refurbishment of the Mount Gambier Hotel, which will facilitate accommodation upgrades and the creation of local tours and overnight tourism packages.
“With COVID increasing intrastate travel, our regional venues have been doing well. This has contributed to increased business confidence that’s led us to make this investment,” Mr Kemp said.
“We thank the South Australian government for this latest grant. It will help drive the tourism economy on Eyre Peninsula generating spin-off effects for local businesses.”
Matthews Hospitality was established during World War II by Seymour and Doris (Dossie) Matthews with the Bayview Hotel lease in Whyalla.
The group has owned, operated and sold many iconic South Australian venues over the years totaling some 36 hotel licences and freeholds.
The family has a legacy of pioneering innovation, establishing Australia’s first drive-thru bottle shop, smorgasbord and counter meal. They also paved the way for night-time entertainment in hotels as the original home of world-famous bands and artists including AC/DC, Jimmy Barnes and Cold Chisel.
For more information on Tasting Australia’s Pig ‘N’ Pale American BBQ at the Eyre Hotel