End of an era and new horizons after Motor Inn sale

New beginnings…(L-R) Longreach Motor Inn’s newest owners Gary and Sommer Scarborough, with help from current manager Sarah Kennedy, have big plans for the local motel after taking over from former hosts Judy and Damien Kennedy.

Based on the Sunshine Coast, the Motor Inn’s new owners,Gary and Sommer Scarborough, have held a multitude of parks within theirportfolio, including the Lake Hume Tourist Park situated near the Victoria-NewSouth Wales border.

As the Motor Inn’s fourth owners, the Scarboroughs saidthey were thrilled to be taking over the Kennedy legacy after maintaining awatchful eye on the region for the past five years.

“If anything, we’re learning from the Kennedys,” MrsScarborough said. “We’re thrilled to be taking on a businesswith such loyalty to its town.

“We’ve always been incredibly impressed by the Longreachregion, the tourism sector and its wonderful people. When tourists ask localsfor a place to stay in town, the Motor Inn is their first recommendation.

“Little did we know the Motor Inn would become apart of ourlives.”

The Scarboroughs said they were ready and willing tosupport the community with assistance from current manager and daughter ofDamien and Judy, 26-year old Sarah Kennedy, who will remain in the role.

“Sarah is someone who really understands this region andits local clientele,” Mrs Scarborough said. “We are sure that the locals willappreciate her familiar face as well.

“With such a large business, things take time to prepare.We get calls from people every day, often the same, asking if Harry’sRestaurant is open for business.

“We promise all that we’re working as quickly as we can andcan’t wait to open Harry’s up to the incredible locals and tourists as soon aspossible.”

Last week, Damien and Judy Kennedy looked back on the MotorInn’s establishment in 1986 by Paul and Marty Smith.

The couple celebrated the Smith’s achievements, and theirown, expressing gratitude to the community for its earnest support.

“It is so important to Judy and I that we say thank you,”Mr Kennedy said. “It was an absolute privilege to serve our local people.

“We have received unbelievable support over the years. Fromlocal faces dining at Harry’s, to tourism operators recommending ouraccommodation, to the same travelling workers staying with us time and timeagain — we couldn’t have done it without you.

“We’ve had amazing staff over the yearstoo, with some of our people being with us since the very beginning.

“It has been a real blessing to run this business in such awonderful community.”

The Kennedys said that along with Harry’s Restaurant, theMotor Inn had been demanding.

“We’re dealing with experts on a dailybasis” Mr Kennedy said. “We appreciate that everyone is the expert client andthe expert patron.

“We felt it was the right time to exit. For the past 13years we’ve built the business to where it is now and we are a bit tired.”

Although they are looking forward to some downtime, theKennedys said they would be kept busy by maintaining popular touristattraction, Saltbush Retreat, alongside David and Tanya Neal.

“We’re staying in Longreach and will bekept busy at Saltbush Retreat.”

Damien and Judy Kennedy congratulate the new owners of theLongreach Motor Inn and are looking forward to supporting its famed restaurantfrom a different perspective.

“We do look forward to eating at Harry’s Restaurant,” Mr Kennedy said. “We won’t need to worry about whetherthe beer is cold enough or the meals are hot enough. We can enjoy it like wenever have before.

“We wish Gary and Sommer all the best. It’s been awonderful adventure.”